Primary school pupils in some of Wales’ most deprived communities will enjoy nutritious meals and fun educational activities in the summer holidays thanks to a £500,000 investment announced today by Welsh Liberal Democrat Education Secretary Kirsty Williams.
The funding will go towards the Food and Fun/Bwyd a Hwyl scheme – a school-based programme that sees schools providing breakfast, lunch, education about healthy eating and a range of different activities for pupils to keep learning and keep active.
An estimated 2,500 learners will take part in the scheme which will run in approximately 56 schools, covering 16 local authorities and all 7 Local Health Boards. Approximately 1500 children benefited from the scheme in 2017.
One of the aims of the scheme is to help close the attainment gap between pupils from deprived communities and those from more prosperous areas.
Kirsty Williams said:
The summer holidays can be a difficult time for some of our young people because they don’t have access to the kind of meals they would get in school. In some cases they could even miss out on meals.
Activities and different play schemes can also be very costly and this means that once again pupils from more disadvantaged backgrounds could lose out.
The Food and Fun/Bwyd a Hwyl scheme is an ideal way for pupils to get two healthy meals a day as well as a wide range of food education, physical activity and other fun sessions. They also get to make the most of local school facilities.
Being able to eat healthily and keeping active and engaged also makes a real difference to pupils’ attainment when they go back to school in September.
Reducing this attainment gap between pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers is at the heart of our national mission for education. That’s why I’m so pleased to announce this funding today and look forward to visiting the schools taking part over the summer.