I was pleased to see the letter in the Oxford Mail from doctors and public health professionals last Friday about the health benefits of the Government's free school meals initiative for infant school children.

This Liberal Democrat policy will also help tackle social inequality by removing the stigma that has prevented many families who are already entitled to free school meals from claiming them – therefore, ensuring all students are well fed and ready to learn.

It is not easy to produce a healthy, affordable and varied pack lunch every day so I started paying for my son to have hot meals last year.

The free school meals policy will save my family about £450 this school year and about £900 next year.

For many parents this is a welcome relief at a time when household budgets are stretched and I hope that the policy will be expanded in the future to include children of all ages.

This is a hugely important and positive step forward for health, education and equality.

Emily Smith, Botley

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