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School Meals Service

Volume 773: debated on Friday 22 November 1968

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what amount has been expended each year since 1960 from Government sources on the school meals service; and what is the latest estimated annual saving due to the recent change in school meals policy.

Net public expenditure (including capital expenditure) on the School Meals Service was as follows:—

£000
1960–6145,233
1961–6249,843
1962–6354,064
1963–6456,309
1964–6564,328
1965–6672,918
1966–6784,815
1967–68 (provisional)92,140
The estimated annual saving resulting from the decision to end next April the scheme under which free meals were provided to the children of large families irrespective of parental income is about £4 million.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, in view of the recent policy change expected to result in a reduction of £4 million a year in the school meals service, he will consider making available a similar sum to be spent on the development of nursery education in deprived areas.

Of the £20 million to £25 million to be spent up to March, 1972 on the urban programme announced by my right hon. Friend the Home Secre- tary on 22nd July a significant part will be devoted to the development of nursery education in deprived areas.