15 million free school meals served as part of Co-operation Agreement

From: Welsh Government
Published: Mon Dec 04 2023

15 million free school meals have been served in primary schools across Wales as part of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.

Providing free school meals to all primary school pupils is a key commitment in the programme, which was signed 2 years ago. All primary school children and more than 6,000 nursery-age pupils attending a maintained school will be eligible for free school meals by the end of 2024.

The second annual report about progress under the Co-operation Agreement has been published.

Working together, the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru have delivered on a wide range of commitments in 2023, including:

  • Rolling out universal free school meals for primary school pupils - 15 million meals have been served and 142,000 pupils have become eligible to date.
  • Extending free childcare to more 2-year olds, with a particular focus on providing and strengthening Welsh-medium childcare.
  • Introducing a radical package of measures to create thriving local communities, helping people to live locally and addressing high numbers of second homes in many areas of Wales.
  • Launching a new publicly-owned energy company for Wales - Ynni Cymru - to unlock our green energy potential.
  • Introducing legislation, which, if agreed, will make the Senedd a more modern and effective legislature.
  • Continuing the Arfor programme, which will deliver an economic boost and strengthen the Welsh language across Gwynedd, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Anglesey.
  • Investing more into flood management and mitigation in response to the increased risk of flooding, with a 214 million fund for flood schemes.
  • Supporting and strengthening local journalism in Wales with new funding and supporting Wales-based companies to develop bilingual content for young audiences.
  • Delivering the first mental health crisis hub in Wales for young people who need urgent support, as part of our commitment for community mental health facilities.
  • Launching a 20 million Welsh Building Safety Developer Loan scheme to provide interest-free loans to help developers carry out remediation works to address fire safety issues in buildings of 11 metres or more.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

Over the last 2 years we have worked closely together on a wide range of commitments which are making a real difference to people all over Wales - from free school meals in primary schools and expanding childcare for 2-year-olds to investing in flood defences.

I look forward to continuing this relationship as we enter the final year of the agreement.

Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth said:

Working together where we have common ground is grown-up politics and good for Wales. The Co-operation Agreement sets out a range of specific policies where we have made a commitment to work together and this second annual report sets out the progress we have made. We remain committed to these shared ambitions for the people of Wales.

The Co-operation Agreement: annual report 2022 to 2023

Company: Welsh Government

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