PUPILS in Bucks who receive free school meals have improved their educational results.

In a report at a Buckinghamshire County Council meeting last Thursday councillors heard the county has improved exam results for children receiving free school meals.

The report from Mike Appleyard, cabinet member for education and skills, read: "In 2012 the performance of free school meal (FSM) children was below the national average and our statistical neighbours (SN).

"However, in 2013 the proportion of KS2 FSM students achieving the threshold of level 4+ in all of reading, writing and mathematics rose to 61 per cent, above the national average (60 per cent) and well above the SN average (54 per cent).

"In terms of ranking, with one being the highest level of achievement, Buckinghamshire moved from being ranked 104/150 in 2012 to being ranked 61/150 in 2013. This is a substantial improvement but we have further to go."

The meeting also heard from Cllr Bill Bendyshe-Brown, deputy cabinet member for education who presented the report for Cllr Appleyard who was away, that the county hopes to have a system in place to provide free school meals for infant children by September, but said there is very little time to implement this.

The report said: "The Government's announcement of free school meals for infant children has highlighted a local issue where 87 schools have no appropriate facilities. These schools have just under 10,000 children who will be eligible for the meals.

"Children's commissioning is consulting with schools and investigating an innovative super-hub kitchen model which will enable one provider to offer a plated meal option, which will be delivered directly into the school.

"This option will not require schools to have a kitchen or dining room."

The government has allocated Buckinghamshire £1.35m of capital and it is thought this grant will primarily support the growth of the super-hub and provide additional equipment for existing hub schools to increase their capacity to meet the increased demand in their satellite schools.