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School Meals

Volume 79: debated on Monday 20 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish in the Official Report the percentage of school meals which have been provided free of charge to pupils in each education authority in England for each year from 1979 to the latest available date.

The percentage of pupils taking free school meals in primary and secondary schools in October 1984 are given in the following table. I would also refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) on 20 March at columns 485–492 for figures for the earlier years.

Number of free pupil meals as a percentage of pupils present
Primary Schools 1984Secondary Schools 1984
Authorityper cent.per cent.
Barking17·410·9
Barnet10·78·8
Bexley9·56·6
Brent20·413·9
Bromley8·26·3
Croydon10·07·6
Ealing17·417·3
Enfield9·98·7

Primary Schools 1984

Secondary Schools 1984

Authority

per cent.

per cent.

Haringey22·521·2
Harrow8·16·4
Havering8·45·6
Hillingdon10·37·2
Hounslow12·512·7
Kingston-upon-Thames7·96·0
Merton6·06·8
Newham18·513·5
Redbridge7·25·8
Richmond-upon-Thames7·611·1
Sutton6·94·1
Waltham Forest20·214·0
Inner London37·827·4
Birmingham35·527·5
Coventry30·022·6
Dudley18·212·0
Sandwell29·620·9
Solihull18·28·8
Walsall29·219·8
Wolverhampton23·921·4
Knowsley46·841·8
Liverpool38·031·8
St· Helens22·819·6
Sefton20·815·2
Wirral27·322·4
Bolton25·619·4
Bury17·412·2
Manchester48·439·7
Oldham33·524·5
Rochdale30·525·4
Salford36·424·9
Stockport18·313·4
Tameside27·519·6
Trafford16·512·7
Wigan23·417·2
Barnsley38·732·8
Doncaster39·925·9
Rotherham31·422·0
Sheffield25·118·1
Bradford34·529·3
Calderdale25·119·4
Kirklees22·019·5
Leeds25·817·1
Wakefield31·827·6
Gateshead30·820·4
Newcastle upon Tyne41·328·4
North Tyneside25·219·6
South Tyneside33·223·4
Sunderland39·227·2
Isles of Scilly
Avon17·613·8
Bedfordshire14·29·5
Berkshire6·46·4
Buckinghamshire10·36·8
Cambridgeshire13·110·3
Cheshire19·412·0
Cleveland32·624·6
Cornwall17·113·8
Cumbria13·59·3
Derbyshire20·618·1
Devon15·111·0
Dorset5·87·8
Durham32·322·2
East Sussex13·89·5
Essex10·57·8
Gloucestershire11·37·4
Hampshire11·07·5

Primary Schools 1984

Secondary Schools 1984

Authority

per cent.

per cent.

Hereford and Worcester10·211·6
Hertfordshire7·85·8
Humberside28·311·3
Isle of Wight15·611·8
Kent11·98·0
Lancashire24·318·6
Leicestershire16·712·5
Lincolnshire7·17·7
Norfolk12·79·8
North Yorkshire13·310·1
Northamptonshire13·911·9
Northumberland19·315·5
Nottinghamshire23·616·7
Oxfordshire8·86·9
Salop18·014·1
Somerset12·611·3
Staffordshire15·110·0
Suffolk10·47·8
Surrey6·03·6
Warwickshire12·07·9
West Sussex7·45·2
Wiltshire10·69·1
England14·810·9

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many children in receipt of free school meals (a) are in families receiving family income supplement and (b) are in families in receipt of neither family income supplement nor supplementary benefit at the latest date for which information is available.

It is possible to estimate only the broad orders of magnitude, as there are fluctuations from year to year within the year in the number of pupils entitled to a free school meal and the proportion who take up the entitlement. At the time of the October 1984 school meals census in England an estimated breakdown of the main categories of entitlement would have been as follows (to the nearest 10,000):

Numbers
(a) Pupils whose parents were in receipt of supplementary benefit680,000
(b) Pupils whose parents were in receipt of family income supplement170,000
(c) Other pupils300,000
1,150,000

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list those local education authorities providing free school meals to children other than those covered by the statutory requirements; and what proportion of all local education authorities in England these represent.

The information requested on provision in England is available in book 2 of the report on the 1984 school meals census, a copy of which is in the Library.