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Islington Tribune - by ROISIN GADELRAB
Published: 17 July 2009

Cllr Catherine West
Revealed: six schools where all pupils will get free meals

THE six Islington primary schools that will be the first to provide free school meals to all pupils have been chosen, the Tribune can reveal.
From September, Ambler, Christ the King, Clerkenwell, Laycock, New North and Yerbury primary schools will serve up free meals for all pupils, regardless of their home circumstances.
Until now, the names of the schools have been kept secret because rival primaries feared the free meals policy could influence parents when deciding where they will send children in September.
The policy, forced on the council’s ruling Lib Dems when Labour hijacked April’s budget meeting, will be introduced at the six schools first.
But Labour group leader Councillor Catherine West has warned that free meals must follow shortly at the borough’s other schools.
Cllr West said: “Giving free school meals to all children is good for their health, improves classroom behaviour and saves families money.
“It is a shame the Liberal Democrats have chosen to stop many other children from receiving free school meals. I hope they stop this cynical blocking as soon as possible.”
Andy Hull, a governor at Ambler School, in Finsbury Park, said: “I am excited to know that Ambler will be one of the first schools in the country where every child gets school meals for free.
“I can’t wait to see the positive effects of this. I’m sure our children will flourish as more receive a good, healthy meal every day.”
Mary Gibson, headteacher at Yerbury School, in Holloway, said: “It’s a new system and we’re just going to carry it out as best we can. We’ll see what happens.”
Headteacher Christina Miles, at Laycock School, in Islington, said: “We’re happy it’s happening.”

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