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Free School Meals: Hampshire

Volume 470: debated on Wednesday 23 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the take-up of free school meals in (a) Portsmouth, (b) Southampton and (c) Hampshire local education authorities was in each of the last five years; what the estimated number of children eligible was in each year; and what steps he is taking to increase the take-up. (179746)

The information requested is given in the following tables:

Take-up of free school meals in Portsmouth, Southampton and Hampshire local authorities 2003 to 2007 at January each year—table A: maintained nursery and primary schools

Number on roll

Pupils taking free school meals

Percentage taking free school meals

Number known to be eligible for free meals

Percentage known to be eligible for free meals

2003

Portsmouth

15,200

2,100

13.9

2,600

16.8

Southampton

17,200

3,000

17.7

3,700

21.7

Hampshire

101,000

7,100

7.0

8,700

8.6

2004

Portsmouth

14,800

2,200

14.9

2,800

18.6

Southampton

16,600

3,000

18.1

3,700

22.0

Hampshire

99,900

7,400

7.4

9,200

9.2

2005

Portsmouth

14,500

2,000

13.5

2,600

17.9

Southampton

16,400

2,700

16.4

3,600

22.2

Hampshire

98,500

6,900

7.0

8,800

8.9

2006

Portsmouth

14,200

1,800

12.5

2,300

16.2

Southampton

16,100

2,700

17.0

3,400

21.3

Hampshire

97,400

6,500

6.7

8,300

8.6

2007

Portsmouth

13,900

1,700

12.2

2,200

15.7

Southampton

16,100

2,500

15.8

3,400

20.9

Hampshire

96,300

6,000

6.3

8,200

8.6

Table B: maintained secondary schools

Number on roll

Pupils taking free school meals

Percentage taking free school meals

Number known to be eligible for free meals

Percentage known to be eligible for free meals

2003

Portsmouth

10,200

1,000

10.0

1,500

14.9

Southampton

12,200

1,500

12.0

2,000

16.6

Hampshire

72,600

3,200

4.3

4,600

6.3

2004

Portsmouth

10,200

1,100

10.7

1,500

15.1

Southampton

12,300

1,600

12.7

2,100

17.1

Hampshire

72,600

3,500

4.8

4,900

6.7

2005

Portsmouth

9,900

1,000

10.2

1,500

15.3

Southampton

12,000

1,300

10.8

2,000

17.0

Hampshire

72,600

3,300

4.6

4,900

6.8

2006

Portsmouth

9,900

900

9.4

1,500

15.2

Southampton

11,500

1,300

11.6

2,000

17.0

Hampshire

72,700

3,500

4.9

4,800

6.6

2007

Portsmouth

9,800

800

8.4

1,400

14.7

Southampton

11,300

1,300

11.5

1,800

16.3

Hampshire

71,900

3,200

4.5

4,600

6.4

Source:

School Census 2003-07

Both tables include middle schools as deemed and dually registered and boarding pupils. Totals are rounded to the nearest 100. Figures for 2007, and accompanying notes, were published as part of the Statistical First Release: Schools and Pupils in England: January 2007, which can be found at:

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000744/index.shtml

Increasing take-up of school lunches is a priority for this Department and for the School Food Trust (SFT). The SFT has a target to increase take-up of school lunches, from a 2005-06 baseline, by 4 percentage points by March 2008 and by 10 percentage points by autumn 2009. In addition, school lunch take-up is now an indicator in both the Local Government National Indicator Set, from which local authorities and their partners will agree their own targets in Local Area Agreements; and Public Service Agreement 12—‘Improve the health and well-being of children and young people’—of the 2007 comprehensive spending review.