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Schools: Catering

Volume 457: debated on Tuesday 6 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what grants for capital spending to improve kitchen facilities were made to schools in each year from 1990-91 to 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. (124969)

The Department has not given specific grants to schools to improve kitchen facilities as it relies upon local authorities to prioritise the allocations they are given. These allocations have risen, in cash terms, from approximately £0.8 billion in 1990-91 to a planned £6.4 billion in 2007-08 and £8 billion in 2010-11.

Capital guidance requires schools and local authorities to consider how, using formulaic capital funding, they can ensure that they provide at least one healthy hot meal a day on the premises, in reasonable comfort in suitable dining facilities. This objective is also taken account of within the Building Schools for the Future and Academies schools building programmes.

In September 2006, the Secretary of State announced that, in the spending review period commencing 1 April 2008, funding would be available to local authorities to support the installation of kitchens where currently there are none, and where there is exceptional need that cannot reasonably be met from other sources. We aim to announce further details later this year.