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