asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many officials in his Department have been involved with school meals provision in any way in each year since 1975; what positions they held; and what was the precise nature of their duties.
The following posts, or fractions of posts, have been needed to discharge duties connected with the Secretary of State's responsibilities for the school meals service:
|Higher executive officer||1·00||1·00||1·00||1·00||1·00||1·00||0·50||0·10|
|Senior catering adviser||1·00||1·00||1·00||1·00||1·00||1·00||1·00||1·00|
|Chief cost accountant||—||—||—||0·50||0·50||0·25||0·25||0·50|
|Senior cost accountant||0·50||1·00||1·00||—||—||—||—||—|
|Higher executive officer||—||—||—||1·00||1·00||1·00||1·00||—|
The policy staff are responsible for advising Ministers, for monitoring developments in the school meal service and for answering questions from local education authorities and the public. In this they are supported by the catering advisers, who also advise local education authorities on developing practice in the service, and by the finance staff.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) how many staff, in total and full-time equivalent, worked in the school meals service in schools in England in each of the last five years;(2) if he will publish the total number of hours worked by school meals staff in schools in England in each of the last five years.
Information on the number of staff employed by English LEAs in the school meals service and the hours worked is not collected centrally. A proxy for the total numbers employed is provided by the free meals supplied to adults as part of their conditions of service as shown by the Department's annual school meal census.
|Year||Kitchen and canteen staff||Midday supervisory assistants|
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether any studies have been undertaken or commissioned by his Department of the effects of changes in the pattern of school meal provision by local authorities in England during the past five years.
The Department's annual school meals census provides information on these matters. Supplementary information is obtained through visits made to local education autorities by the Department's catering advisers.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what studies have been undertaken or commissioned by his Department of ways in which greater effectiveness and efficiency might be achieved in the provision of school meals.
No formal studies have been made. However, much practical work is being done and good practice is disseminated by the Department and by direct contact between local education authorities.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list those local authorities which no longer provide school meals, other than free meals, in primary schools; and what guidance his Department offers to such authorities about the maintenance of anonymity of children receiving free meals.
Dorset and Lincolnshire no longer provide other than free school meals in their primary schools. Hereford an Worcester plan to do the same from the beginning of June. The Department's circular 1/80 asked all authorities to continue to ensure, so far as is practicable, that arrangements made for pupils taking free meals are such as will minimise identification and possible embarrassment.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many local authorities have moved the provision of school meals from their own employees to private contractors in each of the past live years.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) how many school meals were taken in schools in England in each of the last five years; and what average proportion of the total number of pupils in schools each figure represents;(2) if he will publish the total number of free school meals taken in schools in England in each of the last live years; and what average proportion of the total number of pupils in schools each figure represents.
The Department's school meal census collects information relating to one day in October rathr than for the whole year. The returns for the last five years are as follows:
|Pupils taking school meals||4,855,422||5,096,433||4,854,938||3,534,858||3,515,316|
|Percentage of pupils present taking school meals||61·6||65·9||64·1||48·2||49·0|
|Pupils receiving free school meals||926,909||1,074,066||898,768||724,257||856,282|
|Percentage of pupils present receiving free, school meals||11·8||13·9||11·9||9·9||11·9|