Interesting review of Labour’s new policy to provide free school meals to all primary school children between Angela Rayner, shadow education secretary and Sir Michael Wilshaw, former Chief Inspector of schools. A lib dem policy is retreaded to take money from parents who can afford to pay for their own child (as well as paying for state education as a proportion of their taxes) and giving it to families regardless of ability to pay. If you are going to produce a truly “progressive Socialist policy”, and increase the tax burden on wealthier families, why not look at those children identified as genuinely needing additional support and focus on them. The Pupil Premium is targeted to close the attainment gap for children in difficult circumstances and is carefully monitored by Ofsted to ensure the money is spent on this particular group. Punishing those parents who choose to spend significant additional sums on their children’s education, only to throw it at all children in state primary schools, regardless of need is hardly evidence-based. The independent schools sector say the sums behind this policy don’t add up. This feels like the politics of envy.

from Andy Coles, Conservative Councillor in Fletton and Woodston Ward