2 Sep 2014

Marking the launch of free school meals for all infant school children, Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:

'The extension of free school meals to all infants in the country is a positive step in the fight against child poverty. Our analysis shows that about 160,000 more children in poverty will be getting this vital support as a result of this historic move. It shows that the Government recognises the hardship that thousands of families are facing.

'It also marks a significant victory for The Children’s Society’s Fair and Square campaign, which galvanised over 100,000 people across the country to call for free school meals to be available to many more children in poverty.

'But for thousands of poor children in junior and secondary schools, nothing has changed. That’s why it is vital that ministers build on this significant opportunity to make sure that every child in poverty is guaranteed a free school meal, whatever their age.'

Regional data

We have built a map to display regional data estimating the number of children benefiting from this week’s expansion of free school meals in each area of the country. You can see a full-screen version of our map on the CartoDB website.

You can also find the regional data and local authority data in the table at the bottom of this page.

Media enquiries

For more information, call 020 7841 4422 or email media@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors

  • According to our analysis, 1.5 million more children will be getting free school meals in infant schools – about 160,000 of whom are in poverty.
  • There are 3.7 million children in poverty according to government statistics. Figures are according to the relative low income measure, and are based on income after housing costs https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/households-below-average-income-hbai--2
  • Six in 10 children living in poverty are in low-income working families: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/households-below-average-income-hbai-199495-to-201213
  • By 2020, an estimated three quarters of a million more children will be living in poverty than today according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies: http://www.ifs.org.uk/comms/r78.pdf
  • The Children’s Society is supporting the first-ever Children’s Commission on Poverty (http://www.childrenscommission.org.uk/ ). The commissioners want the government to draw on children’s actual experience – and not just the statistics -- when developing measures to tackle child poverty. The Children’s Commission on Poverty is being supported by The Children’s Society and led by a panel of 16 children and teenagers from across England, ranging in age from 12 to 19. They are leading an 18-month investigation into child poverty in the UK. It provides a crucial platform for children to speak out about what poverty is really like and reveal, through their own eyes, the day-to-day challenges.
  • The Children’s Society has helped change children’s stories for over a century. We expose injustice and address hard truths, tackling child poverty and neglect head-on. We fight for change based on the experiences of every child we work with and the solid evidence we gather. Through our campaigning, commitment and care, we are determined to give every child in this country the greatest possible chance in life.

 

Local authority data

Our table contains data for local authorities, grouped by region. Information is also included for all of England and each of the nine regions.

This data estimates the number of children benefiting from this week’s expansion of free school meals.

Area Number of children in infant school gaining entitlement to free school meals Number of those children who are living in poverty
ENGLAND 1,506,050 160,971
     
NORTH EAST 68,502 2,472
Darlington 3,094 55
Durham 13,439 241
Gateshead 5,221 326
Hartlepool 2,711 124
Middlesbrough 4,007 186
Newcastle upon Tyne 5,900 0
North Tyneside 5,698 296
Northumberland 6,631 278
Redcar and Cleveland 4,106 338
South Tyneside 3,935 267
Stockton-on-Tees 6,159 191
Sunderland 7,659 402
     
NORTH WEST 202,225 13,104
Blackburn with Darwen 5,100 642
Blackpool 3,318 230
Bolton 9,192 723
Bury 5,908 215
Cheshire East 10,431 323
Cheshire West and Chester 9,390 431
Cumbria 13,931 695
Halton 2,816 0
Knowsley 3,957 245
Lancashire 33,307 1,405
Liverpool 10,773 1,269
Manchester 12,727 1,419
Oldham 7,809 683
Rochdale 6,644 697
Salford 6,313 267
Sefton 7,634 554
St. Helens 4,892 390
Stockport 8,820 396
Tameside 6,973 554
Trafford 7,694 352
Warrington 6,663 337
Wigan 9,148 573
Wirral 8,656 735
     
YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER 156,754 3,951
Barnsley 6,784 73
Bradford 18,681 892
Calderdale 6,744 250
Doncaster 8,882 201
East Riding of Yorkshire 9,452 94
Kingston Upon Hull, City of 6,784 212
Kirklees 12,953 0
Leeds 22,087 238
North East Lincolnshire 4,666 418
North Lincolnshire 4,753 20
North Yorkshire 16,663 369
Rotherham 8,063 269
Sheffield 14,536 326
Wakefield 10,403 498
York 5,224 99
     
EAST MIDLANDS 129,817 11,594
Derby 7,715 946
Derbyshire 21,404 1,281
Leicester 9,917 2,107
Leicestershire 18,502 1,009
Lincolnshire 19,042 1,608
Northamptonshire 21,422 1,239
Nottingham 7,332 1,499
Nottinghamshire 23,453 1,905
Rutland 1,078 47
     
WEST MIDLANDS 161,076 8,855
Birmingham 30,577 1,140
Coventry 10,004 914
Dudley 9,204 622
Herefordshire 4,746 235
Sandwell 10,474 1,312
Shropshire 7,742 202
Solihull 7,211 343
Staffordshire 23,078 869
Stoke-on-Trent 6,869 77
Telford and Wrekin 5,110 422
Walsall 8,573 878
Warwickshire 15,817 640
Wolverhampton 7,339 824
Worcestershire 14,443 490
     
EAST OF ENGLAND 170,986 18,024
Bedford 4,188 617
Central Bedfordshire 7,358 567
Cambridgeshire 17,586 1,248
Essex 39,843 4,438
Hertfordshire 38,010 3,589
Luton 7,353 1,514
Norfolk 21,475 2,034
Peterborough 5,980 898
Southend-on-Sea 4,918 890
Suffolk 18,776 1,313
Thurrock 5,544 963
     
LONDON 208,957 60,605
Camden 3,176 1,109
City of London 78 4
Hackney 5,601 2,358
Hammersmith and Fulham 3,067 884
Haringey 7,349 2,920
Islington* 0 0
Kensington and Chelsea 2,174 373
Lambeth 6,463 2,017
Lewisham 7,865 2,770
Newham* 0 0
Southwark* 0 0
Tower Hamlets 6,005 3,892
Wandsworth 6,168 1,085
Westminster 3,045 1,307
Barking and Dagenham 7,797 3,427
Barnet 10,692 2,275
Bexley 7,645 1,542
Brent 8,918 3,233
Bromley 9,126 1,507
Croydon 10,400 2,487
Ealing 10,834 3,230
Enfield 10,323 4,460
Greenwich 7,983 2,749
Harrow 7,256 1,631
Havering 7,233 1,420
Hillingdon 9,841 2,551
Hounslow 7,851 2,301
Kingston upon Thames 5,219 767
Merton 6,691 1,250
Redbridge 9,729 2,550
Richmond upon Thames 6,154 592
Sutton 6,015 900
Waltham Forest 8,385 3,090
*Already provide free school meals    
SOUTH EAST 248,096 21,758
Bracknell Forest 3,796 233
Brighton and Hove 6,604 866
Buckinghamshire 16,253 1,133
East Sussex 12,793 1,236
Hampshire 37,105 2,403
Isle of Wight 3,041 342
Kent 40,869 4,222
Medway 8,032 996
Milton Keynes 8,921 1,410
Oxfordshire 19,325 1,181
Portsmouth 4,914 723
Reading 4,459 630
Slough 5,917 1,089
Southampton 5,947 1,028
Surrey 32,682 1,632
West Berkshire 5,088 355
West Sussex 22,745 1,797
Windsor and Maidenhead 3,965 231
Wokingham 5,587 196
     
SOUTH WEST 138,813 14,020
Bath and North East Somerset 4,607 334
Bournemouth 4,022 598
Bristol, City of 10,873 1,820
Cornwall 14,118 1,871
Devon 19,497 1,364
Dorset 9,050 576
Gloucestershire 15,902 1,423
Isles of Scilly 113 3
North Somerset 5,851 561
Plymouth 6,474 807
Poole 3,544 417
Somerset 13,417 1,312
South Gloucestershire 8,037 494
Swindon 6,622 853
Torbay 3,327 569
Wiltshire 13,308 970

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