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New research on impact of Universal Infant Free School Meals policy to be presented at Labour and Conservative Party Conferences

School dinner big

New ISER research, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, will be presented by ISER Research Fellow, Dr Angus Holford, at two New Statesman fringe events at the forthcoming party conferences. The events will be chaired by Anoosh Chakelian, Senior Writer at New Statesman and will examine the impact of the controversial Government policy.

Since September 2014, all children in state-funded English infant schools (comprising reception, year 1 and year 2) have been eligible to receive a free school meal under the Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) policy. The policy aims at improving children’s educational attainment, social skills and behaviour; ensuring children have access to a healthy meal a day and develop long-term healthy eating habits; helping families with the cost of living, and removing disincentives to work (Department for Education, 2014). At a cost of around £400 per pupil/year plus over £15m capital spending on school kitchen facilities in the first year, this policy is a sizeable investment into children, and it is important to know whether it has delivered its aims.

Labour Party Conference - Tuesday 24th September, 1pm, Preston room, Hilton Metropole, Brighton

Speakers include:

  • Sharon Hodgson MP, Shadow Minister for Public Health
  • Steve Reed MP, Shadow Minister for Children and Families
  • Alison Garnham, Chief Executive – Child Poverty Action Group
  • Dr Angus Holford, Research Fellow – ISER
  • Michael Hales, Immediate Past Chair – LACA

(please note that this event is inside the secure zone)

Conservative Party Conference - Monday 30th September, 1pm, Oak Suite, Principal Hotel, Manchester.

Speakers include:

  • Emma Knights OBE, Chief Executive of the National Governance Association
  • Dr Angus Holford, Research Fellow – ISER
  • Stephen Forster, Chair of LACA
  • additional Conservative Party speakers to be confirmed

(please note this event is outside the secure zone)