§ 5. Mr. Eastham
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the education meals service.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Bob Dunn)
The school meals service is the responsibility of the local education authorities. A number of individual authorities have made substantial net savings in expenditure in this area since 1979–80, and the Government expect others to do the same.
§ Mr. Eastham
Is the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State aware that when the Government issue circulars, especially about the privatisation of school meals, there is no reference to the supervision of school meals, which forms a considerable part of the school meals' costings? In the city of Manchester, for example, the supervision of school meals costs £750,000. Will the Minister ensure that if authorities privatise school meals the cost of supervision is included?
§ Sir Geoffrey Finsberg
Does my hon. Friend agree that, apart from the possibility of privatisation, authorities, such as the Inner London education authority, could raise a substantial sum merely by keeping their school meals' prices in line with the cost of living?