742 children get free school meals in town

Highest percentage: Worden Sports College has 24 per cent of pupils claiming free lunches. Pictured is headteacher Chris Catherall
Highest percentage: Worden Sports College has 24 per cent of pupils claiming free lunches. Pictured is headteacher Chris Catherall
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More than 700 pupils get free school meals in Leyland, it has been revealed.

New figures from Lancashire County Council show the number and percentage of pupils from each high school and primary school currently getting free meals.

Worden Sports College has the highest percentage of claimants among high schools, with just over 24 per cent, as 72 out of 293 students are entitled to free lunches there.

But Wellfield Business and Enterprise College has the highest number of claimants, with 80 out of 468 students (17 per cent).

Balshaws CofE High School has the lowest with 50 out 923 (five percent), while Leyland St Mary’s Catholic Technology College has 78 out of 760 (10 per cent).

A spokesman from LCC said: “Free School Meals (FSM) are a legal entitlement and we encourage pupils who are entitled to claim them, and to have a nutritious meal.

“Pupils on FSM get exactly the same meal options as those who pay, and if meals are provided by our in-house service, Lancashire County Commercial Group, they follow careful nutritional guidelines for a balanced diet.”

It’s estimated that parents claiming free school meals for their children save around £350 a year, and those eligible include parents on income support and Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Schools also get £600 for every child claiming free lunches, as LCC is supporting a government scheme to give additional help to children from lower income families.

The new figures have been released in a Freedom of Information Request sent to LCC.

Amongst Leyland’s primary schools, Seven Stars Primary School has the highest percentage and pupil numbers claiming free lunches, with 67 out of 147 (45 per cent).

St Catherine’s R.C. Primary School has the lowest percentage and pupil numbers, with 13 out of 220 children getting free meals (five per cent).

A number of schools across Lancashire have no students claiming under the scheme, whilst the school with the highest percentage of pupils (78 per cent) is Elm Tree Community Primary School in Skelmersdale, where 30 out of 38 claim free meals.