CEREDIGION County Council will be offering universal free school meals from the Autumn term onwards to all Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children.

This comes following Welsh Government’s announcement to offer free meals for all primary school pupils across Wales, starting with Reception classes from September 2022.

A spokesperson described the move as ‘a positive step forward’ in response to the current rising cost-of-living ‘ensuring that no child goes hungry while in school and tackling poverty in our county’.

All Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 Ceredigion schoolchildren will be offered free meals from Monday, September 5.

A council spokesperson said: “Ceredigion County Council and Welsh Government are committed to implementing this scheme quickly and would ask for your patience as we build catering capacity to ensure a successful phased implementation and work towards a whole school roll-out over the next three years.

“The council are working with Welsh Government to develop a process for you to be able to request a free meal for your child/children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 from September 2022, trying to avoid any unnecessary burden for you.

“If your child is currently in receipt of free school meals and/or any other associated benefits, these will not be affected.”

Cllr Wyn Thomas, Cabinet Member responsible for Schools, Lifelong Learning and Skills, said: “The Government's aim is for Welsh Local Authorities to provide a free school meal for Reception pupils in September 2022.

“The council has taken advantage of the flexibility of the scheme and so more pupils in Ceredigion will benefit from the offer of a free meal for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils in September 2022."

It is understood that further information will follow by the end of term.