Tucking into turkey – free of charge...

W51522H14''Christmas Lunch at the Vale  School Findon Valley on Thursday Supervisor Emily Chatterton serves the meal SUS-141218-160924001
W51522H14''Christmas Lunch at the Vale School Findon Valley on Thursday Supervisor Emily Chatterton serves the meal SUS-141218-160924001

CHILDREN tucked into a ‘healthy and nutritious’ Christmas lunch on Thursday free of charge – thanks to a new school meals scheme.

Students at Vale First and Middle School, in Findon Valley, munched on turkey and all the trimmings, following the introduction of the Universal Infant Free School Meals initiative.

The school was one of a number of primary schools across the town taking part over the festive season this year.

Jeremy Hunt, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for education and skills, said: “We’re delighted so many children have been able to benefit from these free meals.

“As lovely as it is to see at Christmas-time, it’s wonderful to see them enjoying their lunches all year round.

“Studies show that having a healthy and nutritious meal can help to improve concentration in the classroom, which means our children will be able to reap the rewards long into the new year, and for many years to come.”

Since September, more than 2.5 million meals have been served, as the number of children taking advantage of school meals has risen dramatically.

The average take up of school meals by primary school children in West Sussex is around 90 per cent.

A council spokesman added: “Previously, it had been around 30 per cent, which means more children are being able to take advantage of healthy and nutritious meals.”