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Free School Meals

Volume 130: debated on Monday 28 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many children it is estimated will no longer qualify for free school meals in Bradford from April 1988; and if he will make a statement.

In October 1987, about 7,850 pupils in Bradford received free school meals, either because their families were in receipt of family income supplement, or through the operation of LEA discretion. From 11 April, the families of those in the former category will receive a cash benefit of £2·55 per week throughout the year under the new family credit scheme, which will also cover many in the latter category. Nationally, it is estimated that about 100,000 more school age children will benefit under the family credit scheme compared with those who currently receive free school meals under family income supplement and LEA discretionary schemes combined.

figure represents as a percentage of the Medical Research Council's budget; and what was the comparable percentage spent in each of the last six years.

I am advised by the Medical Research Council that expenditure on mental health (including addiction) and schizophrenia research from 1981–82 to 1986–87 was as follows: