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Free school meals in Uttoxeter are set to ‘improve pupils’ focus’

St Joseph's canteen

St Joseph's canteen

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FREE school dinners for young pupils in Uttoxeter will benefit their education as well as saving parents cash, head teachers claim.

From September, youngsters in years one and two, as well as reception, will receive free, healthy school dinners.

Many Uttoxeter schools’ kitchens have been revamped to accommodate the plan.

And bosses of those schools claim pupils eating healthy, balanced meals rather than snack-filled packed lunches will help them concentrate.

Joyce Cassidy, principal of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, said the scheme could be extended throughout her school.

She said: “There have been a lot of studies done with this around the country where there have been positive results for behaviour and attention span in the afternoon.

“We’ve let every parent know their children will have a hot meal every day and we can cater for their likes and dislikes.

“We might consider extending this to other year groups if it works well for the rest of the school.”

Theresa Walters, head teacher of Tynsel Parks First School, said: “It’s a very positive initiative which can only benefit children and families and we’re embracing it.

“Parents won’t have to think about buying and preparing lunch for their children.

“We’ve always had a focus on healthy foods and are supporting this 100 per cent.”

Ben Adams, Staffordshire County Council’s education boss, said: “Since December 14th we have commissioned our services provider Entrust to inspect more than 180 schools and then carry out the necessary work.

“It’s been an outstanding effort to get this far, this quickly.”

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