HC Deb 04 May 1961 vol 639 cc1574-5
12. Mrs. White

asked the Minister of Education what consideration is being given to revising the present allocation of money for school meals between labour costs and the purchase of food.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education (Mr. Kenneth Thompson)

The unit cost per meal is fixed annually for each authority for food and overheads separately. The amount allowed is so assessed as to ensure adequate standards at a reasonable cost, in the light of current prices and wages rates.

Mrs. White

Will the Minister look at the matter again? Is he not aware that the organisers of school meals find their task made more difficult because, if the cost of food is kept completely separate from other costs, they are inhibited from purchasing pre-prepared foods because to do so would make the cost of the food too high although the relative cost of labour would be reduced? This is causing a great deal of dissatisfaction in the schools meals service.

Mr. Thompson

That is a very interesting suggestion, and I will look into it.