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Sinn Féin demand equality assessment over school meal changes

23 October, 2017 - by Karen Mullan

Sinn Féin has called for a full equality impact assessment to be carried out into a decision which could see up to 2000 children lose their free school meals and uniform entitlement.

The party’s Education Spokesperson Karen Mullan MLA said: 

“It is our firm view that there is a clear statutory obligation on the Department to undertake a full equality assessment after initial screening found that 2000 families may no longer be eligible for free school meals and uniform grants due to a technical amendment to the eligibility criteria.

“This is a clear adverse impact on the affected children and their families and the Department should take action to ensure that no child loses their school meal entitlement.

“We will be meeting education officials on this issue  and Sinn Fein’s formal submission to the department is calling for a full equality impact assessment and immediate measures to ensure that no child goes hungry as a result of a technicality.

“It is not acceptable that children could lose their entitlement to this vital assistance through no fault of their own and we will be robustly seeking answers from the department as to how they intend to rectify this situation.”

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