Universal primary free school meals to be extended to Year 5 pupils in Bridgend County Borough

From June 3, Year 5 pupils across the county borough will be eligible for free school meals, as the Universal Primary Free School Meal initiative continues to roll out.

Eligibility for Year 5 and 6 pupils was originally proposed from September 2024.  However, the hard work offered by the catering service means that the scheme will be available sooner for Year 5 learners and will start following the Whitsun half-term break.

As scheduled, the provision will be accessible to Year 6 pupils at the start of the new school year in September, when all primary school pupils will be eligible for a free school meal.

The initiative was launched by Welsh Government in 2022 to help families ease the burden of the cost-of-living crisis and almost 11,000 pupils in schools throughout the county borough are now able to receive a free school meal.

Cllr Jon-Paul Blundell, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “It is rewarding to see this important initiative rolled-out across the county borough.  Universal primary free school meals provide significant financial help to families, whilst also offering a nutritional meal to children which allows them to concentrate on learning.

“Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank catering staff and schools for their continued support, as well as for their hard work in delivering this vital service.”

Parents and carers are not required to complete an application, as all eligible learners will automatically benefit from this offer.

Bridgend County Borough Council is currently recruiting for catering service staff to support the free school meal scheme. Please visit the council’s website for more information on current job opportunities.