Kirsty Williams leads the way

I have been very heartened by the news from Wales, and not just because a bit of my heart always lives there. Unlike her English counterparts Kirsty Williams, the Lib Dem Education Minister for Wales, hasn’t had to be challenged by celebrity footballers to remember those children whose needs are greater than others – she had already worked up schemes to support them.

In the very early days of lockdown, Wales was the first country in the UK to announce that children eligible for free school meals would continue to get them through the Easter and summer school holidays, supported by substantial funding.

Kirsty has now taken a further ambitious step by announcing an £11million fund to provide free school meals during term-time and holidays right up to Easter 2021. Special arrangements are in place for children who are quarantining or shielding at home.



* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • Well done Kirsty Williams, but lets not forget she’s working for what is basically a Labour government in Wales. They deserve a lot of the credit.

  • Helen Dudden 17th Oct '20 - 10:49am

    I’m concerned and confused by reports that school classrooms are having doors and windows opened because of Covid. I further understand that children will be wearing coats.
    Does this seem practical if that’s the case? Is there not a legal limit for how warm or cold an environment should be?
    All children should be fed whilst at school.
    The government, failed to consider virtual learning whilst in lock down.
    The Covid situation has been badly handled, and also handled too slowly.
    Ministers and those who should know better, not practising what they preach.

  • suzanne fletcher 17th Oct '20 - 2:09pm

    I am very proud of Kirsty WIlliams in this move, something I feel about very passionately, having seen the huge difference it has made to local families having the vouchers over the summer school holidays.
    I want to get in touch with her about the situation that is complicated but important. Families who have No recourse to Public Funds, asylum families on “section 4” and a few other categories with children that are Year 3 and above normally get no free school meals. At the beginning of the Pandemic our Government, rightly, included these very poorest children in being eligible for the FSM vouchers over the spring half term and up until now when they can have a FSM. However when schools back to “normal” ( doesn’t seem soon) those children will be back to not being eligible, unless the Government changes its mind in a review it is undertaking. I know Wales is different, but as the issue is relatively minor ( unless it affect you of course!) it may get missed.
    If Lib Dems cannot stand up for the very poorest in our society, and make the changes that are necessary, then who can?

  • Steve Trevethan 18th Oct '20 - 10:44am

    Thank, you for an important post!
    How pleasing, and possibly encouraging, to learn of our party working in coalition with the Labour Party for the benefit of the”Real Economy”!
    What an excellent contrast to our coalition with the Conservative Party for the benefit of the “Financial Economy”!

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