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School Meals

Volume 957: debated on Thursday 9 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the reduction in the number of school meals which will be purchased as a result of the increase in charges for meals.

Estimates of this kind are necessarily speculative, and no precise figure can be given. Experience shows that an increase in the charge always reduces uptake temporarily. The increase of 10p in August 1977 reduced the uptake from over 50 per cent. of pupils present to about 45 per cent., from which it recovered to almost 47 per cent. in January 1978. I would expect the increase of 5p in the charge in August 1979 to have less effect on uptake.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what has been the average number of school meals consumed daily in each of the past five years; and what percentage of these meals were provided free in each year.

Averages are not available. The following figures are derived from the full census taken annually on a day in January. Uptake tends to fall during the spring and summer so that the annual average would probably be slightly less.

align="center">YearNumber of school mealsFree meals as percentage of total meals