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Bradford - Free pilot sees school meals come full circle

All primary pupils in the Bradford district will receive free school meals from September as a multimillion-pound pilot scheme to improve their health, behaviour and achievement.

The Government's decision to award Bradford a #163;8.34 million grant will mean its experiment in universal free lunches will be coming to the city where the first ever school meals were cooked at Green Lane Primary in 1907.

The district council will match the funding and hopes the scheme will reduce obesity, change eating habits at home, and improve pupil behaviour, academic performance and general health and well-being.

National School Food Trust figures show that less than two-fifths of primary pupils take a school meal, largely because low-income families feel the cost is too high.

Primaries in Durham and Newham began piloting universal free school meals last September in schemes that the Government says have already received "very positive feedback". WS.

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