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Primary Education: Catering

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what capital grant will be available from April 2008 to those local authorities with large numbers of primary schools without school kitchens; which local authorities have the largest number of schools without kitchens; and if he will make a statement. (185332)

Over the next three years, we are providing a record £21.9 billion of capital support for investment in school buildings. Much of this funding is devolved to local authorities and schools for their local priorities, which can include installing or improving school kitchens and dining areas. As part of this funding, we are making available £150 million of targeted capital grant to those authorities with high need who aim to install kitchens in over 20 per cent. of their schools where currently there are none, and where to do so without targeted support would put unacceptable pressure on other funding priorities. We issued an invitation and guidance to all authorities on how to apply for this funding in December 2007, and they have until the end of this month to make an application.

The Department does not hold detailed information on which schools do not have kitchens. Working with the School Food Trust in late 2006, we identified the following authorities as having relatively high numbers of primary and secondary schools without kitchens, but this may not be a full list: Bournemouth, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Harrow, Hillingdon, Kingston upon Thames, Lincolnshire, Milton Keynes, North East Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Poole, Somerset, Swindon, West Sussex, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire.