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School Meals

Volume 457: debated on Tuesday 6 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the proportion of pupils in (a) primary schools and (b) secondary schools who had school-provided lunches in each year since 1995-96. (124970)

The information requested is not collected centrally.

The Schools Census (SC) collects information on pupils who are eligible for and take a free school meal on the day of the census in January.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what duties have been placed upon local authorities to provide a mid-day meal for all pupils in primary and secondary schools; and if he will make a statement. (125076)

A local authority, or its schools where the school has a delegated budget for meals, has a duty to provide a paid-for meal service where one is requested by a parent, and also a duty to provide free school meals to pupils that are eligible. However, it is for the local authority or the school to decide whether this should take the form of a hot meal or a cold packed lunch as long as the meal complies with the requirements of the nutritional standards for school lunches set out in Regulations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of (a) primary and (b) secondary schools served hot school meals in each year from 1990-91 to 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. (125078)

The Department for Education and Skills does not collect this information. However, the School Food Trust baseline survey of local authorities carried out in March 2006 shows that 72 per cent. of primary and 96.5 per cent. of secondary schools have facilities where food can be prepared from scratch. The School Food Trust is to carry out this survey annually for the next three years.