Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Chris Hazzard has welcomed the news that children attending independent schools will for the first time be eligible to apply for free school meals.
Mr. Hazzard said,
“There are about 700 pupils who attend independent schools that are not funded through the Education Department. I welcome the fact that the Education Minister John O’Dowd has now announced that these pupils will now be eligible to apply for free school meals.
“Many parents especially those with several children attending school are finding it difficult to finance their children’s education so this announcement will bring some financial relief to those parents.
“It is important in creating an education system based upon equality that every parent has the opportunity to apply for free school meals and this announcement today bringing independent schools into line with mainstream education is an important step in ensuring all of our children are treated equally.”