1.3 million more young children now receiving free school meals

1.3m schoolchildren across England are now enjoying a free school lunch thanks to Liberal Democrats in government.

Figures out earlier this month show that the policy has had a very high uptake in its first three months, with a total of more than 1.6m children enjoying a school meal every lunchtime.

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Call for sciences toys to be targeted at both boys and girls

Many girls still believe that some science subjects are not for them - almost half of all state-schools had no girls taking A-level physics in recent years, this is further reflected in choices of university degree. Campaigners have suggested that this is in part because the future aspirations of girls and boys are set at a very early age.

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More students from disadvantaged backgrounds getting university places

Record number of disadvantaged students getting university places, according to a UCAS report released today, disadvantaged young people are over 10% more likely to enter higher education than they were a year ago.

As the number of university entrants passed 500,000 for the first time this year, the gap between the most advantaged and the most disadvantaged students is at its lowest.

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Plan to help those with mental health issues return to work

Liberal Democrats in government have announced a further £12 million investment to help people with mental health conditions get back into work. 

This ties in with the Liberal Democrats' commitment to bringing treatment for mental health problems out of the shadows and in line with physical health.

The funding will be used in four pilot areas to test whether better coordination of mental health and employment services can help people to find and stay in work, whilst improving their mental health.

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Go for Community Banking!

Liberal Democrats are supporting Community Banking in order to break up the power of the big banks and to support local investment and lending in rural areas.

“Many farmers struggle to survive because of changes in pricing and unfair competition. It can be a struggle to live off the land, but many new and innovative small businesses are trying to do so. As MP for West Dorset I would really want to strengthen their hand. It’s about developing skills and making financial support available,” says prospective MP Ros Kayes. “When I obtained the funding for the Skills for Self Reliance project teaching coppicing, permaculture, renewable energy systems and other green skills across West Dorset it really made me see the value of working with landowners and young people to support them in developing their skills.”  

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New Council Offices: £9.7 million. Council Cuts: £9.4 million.

West Dorset District Council has just announced plans to cut £9.4 million from its budget by 2020. “What is both very disturbing and deeply cynical is that the Conservatives who run the Council won’t say where the axe is set to fall until after next May’s elections,” said Dorchester Councillor Andy Canning. 

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New West Dorset Council Offices costing £9.7 million

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