Free school meals: a universalist measure

The proposal to offer free school meals to all children in infant schools, largely credited to the Liberal Democrats,  has attracted widespread support from across the political spectrum,  That is extraordinary in itself, and more extraordinary for being a universalist measure –  based partly in the argument that every child stands to benefit, and partly in a recognition that selectivity and eligibility conditions don’t work.   It’s rather too early to claim that universalism is resurgent, but it does indicate both an acceptance of the principle and a willingness to adapt methods to particular circumstances.

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