Schools in England Will Still Provide Free Meals

November 19, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. retain / rɪˈteɪn / (v.) – to keep on doing something
Example: The school will retain its old guidelines on school uniforms.

2. rumor / ˈru mər / (n.) – a story that has not yet been proven to be true but is spread among many people
Example: The politician refused to comment on the recent rumors about him.

3. encourage / ɛnˈkɜr ɪdʒ / (v.) – to urge or make a person do something
Example: Do not encourage your kids to eat too much junk food.

4. clear up / klɪər ʌp / (idiom) – to clarify or explain something
Example: The student wants to clear up the issue with her teachers.

5. school district / skul ˈdɪs trɪkt / (n.) – a particular region with schools run by a school board
Example: The state has several school districts.


Read the text below.
Free school meals in England will be retained even after budget cuts are implemented, the British prime minister confirmed.

More than 15,000 schools in England give free lunch to students aged seven and below. This program, which started in 2014, aims to give all students access to hot, healthy, and delicious food. However, rumors that this program would end came out after Chancellor of the Exchequer [EKS-chek-er] George Osborne called for a 25 to 40-percent budget cut in July this year.

Many people started to worry upon hearing this rumor. Doctors, for example, warned that the obesity rate in the country might increase once schools stop giving free meals. In a letter, more than 40 doctors said that ending this program might encourage children to go back to eating unhealthy food. Parents also became worried as they would have to spend more money for food once the program stops.

To clear up the rumor, Prime Minister David Cameron promised that schools will continue providing free meals to students. Cameron added that the budget for the program will also be protected.

Schools in England are not the only ones offering free school meals to students. Many school districts in the United States also have a similar program. These include Lowell School District and Reedsport School District in Oregon, Payette School District in Idaho, and Beekmantown Central School District in New York. Like in England, the program in these schools is also supported by the government.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think are the benefits of providing students with free meals? Please explain your answer.
·         Do you think it is also possible for schools in your country to provide free meals to all students? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How else can we ensure that students have access to healthy food?
·         What types of food should students avoid? Discuss your answer.

November 19, 2015