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'Free' school meals policy to cost Somerset County Council £500,000

By Mblazeby  |  Posted: June 02, 2014

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Nick Clegg's problematic free school meals policy is set to cost Somerset County Council £500,000.

The costs of building a central production kitchen to cater for schools without their own kitchen facilities will also be included in the bill.

There has also been a U-turn on the government's original assurance that schools would not have to pay any costs towards the policy's introduction. Now, schools with more than 150 pupils will be asked to pay a quarter of the costs incurred for upgrading their facilities.

In May, the free school meals scheme was given a red warning by Whitehall, indicating low confidence in the policy and prediction of its failure.

The policy, to provide free school meals to children under seven in schools across England, is due to begin in September.

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