HC Deb 10 March 1981 vol 1000 cc742-3
6. Mr. John Carlisle

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his latest estimate of the cost of providing free school meals to those teachers in schools in England and Wales who receive them.

Mr. Macfarlane

The estimated cost to local education authorities in England is about £27 million. Questions about Wales are for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales to answer.

Mr. Carlisle

Does my hon. Friend agree that although teachers who have responsibility for supervision at meal times have some legitimate claim for a free meal, the system is being abused and a great saving could be made by local authorities if they insisted that only those who supervise during meal times have a free meal?

Mr. Macfarlane

I endorse the first part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question. Those engaged on supervisory duties are entitled to free school meals. The entitlement to a free meal was confirmed by an agreement in 1968 between representatives of local education authorities and of the teachers. If there are abuses, my hon. Friend and other hon. Members will no doubt make them known to those responsible for administering the services in the local education authority.