Pupils at independent schools across Northern Ireland - including Ballymoney’s Independent Christian School - will be eligible to receive free school meals for the first time this year.
The extension of entitlement will ensure pupils at 15 local independent schools can avail of the support alongside pupils at grant-aided schools.
Announcing the move, Education Minister, John O’Dowd said: “The provision of free school meals plays a key role in raising educational standards. Not only does it provide the health benefits of a nutritious meal during the school day, supporting children’s growth and development; it also aids learning in the classroom and targets support to those who most need it – low income households.”
There are 15 independent schools in Northern Ireland which educate pupils from two years old to 18. They do not receive any funding from the Department. Parents who think they may be eligible should contact their local Education and Library Board as soon as possible for further information.