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School Meals

Volume 774: debated on Monday 25 November 1968

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the estimated expenditure on school meals in Scotland during the current financial year; what saving will result from the abolition of the automatic entitlement to free school meals of the fourth and subsequent children in a family; and what will be the added cost of administering the altered scheme.

£8 million and £0·4 million respectively. Precise information about the cost of administering the scheme is not available but any increase is unlikely to be significant.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his estimate of the number of children in Scotland who do not apply for free school meals although they are entitled because of low family income; and how many fourth and subsequent children in families he estimates will not claim free school meals after the abolition of their automatic entitlement although the family income falls below £16 10s.

I believe that most children who are entitled to apply for free meals do so, and I have no reason to suppose that the situation will change.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking

Education AuthorityTotal Value of Programme (starts)New Town*Elements for New Town included in TotalTotal School Population of Education Authority
Fife£600,000 (provisional)Glenrothes£70,00055,846
Lanarkshire£2,050,000East Kilbride£665,000114,001
West Lothian£652,000LivingstonNil19,162
*The new town elements vary sharply from year to year according to the incidence of starts for particular projects.

to ensure that families affected by the abolition of the automatic entitlement of a fourth or subsequent child to free school meals are familiar with their potential right to exemption on grounds of income.

This changes does not take effect until April, 1969. Appropriate publicity will be arranged.