School meals will soon cost more than £2

GOING UP School meals will cost �1.95 from January.
GOING UP School meals will cost �1.95 from January.

The price of school dinners is to go up from next year.

A hike of 5p from January 2015 was agreed by Kirklees Council cabinet members on Tuesday.

It means the cost of a two-course school dinner will be £1.95. Parents can also expect annual increases from September 2015 – pushing the price of a dinner above £2.

A report to councillors stated that school meals are an “income-generating service” and said the service faces “significant cost pressures”, including food inflation and a wage award to staff.

Cabinet member for children’s services Shabir Pandor told councillors: “This is based on maintaining the current quality and standards.”

Council officials estimate it will bring in an extra £239,000 per year.

The hike will affect parents of junior school-age children and those in secondary schools.

But all infants will get a free school dinner until at least July 2016 as part of a nationally-funded scheme.

The new initiative introduced by the Government will help parents in Kirklees to save up to £5.2m on school lunches.

Each parent could save up to £400 a year as the age limit for free meals rises to cover children in reception and Years 1 and 2.

While those children in low income families will be eligible for free school meals under the current criteria, it will impact on those just above the threshold for this entitlement.