HC Deb 21 February 1924 vol 169 cc1990-1W

asked the President of the Board of Education, if there are any elementary school buildings in the country that have a dining room as part of the school buildings for the use of the children attending; if so, how many schools have such accommodation and where are they situated?


I understand that such rooms exist in some schools, but particular information on this subject is not available.


asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that 40 children who should be attending Gulworthy school, Tavistock, are on strike; whether he is aware that the cause of this strike is due to the fact that no provision is made at the school for heating the children's mid-day meals and, as many of the children have to walk several miles to school, if he will arrange for the necessary arrangements to be I made?


My attention has been called to this matter, and I understand from statements in the Press that the children are back at school. The Board attach considerable importance to the provision, where necessary and practicable, of satisfactory arrangements for mid-day meals and I hope to issue a Circular upon the matter at an early date.


asked the President of the Board of Education whether he will consider the advisability of extending the provision of meals for elementary school children so as to include those who are insufficiently or improperly fed owing to the distance of their homes, and not the poverty of their parents, especially in rural areas?


I think the hon. Member is under a misapprehension. Local education authorities already possess the necessary powers for this purpose. In many schools, especially in rural areas, arrangements are in fact made, with the full approval of the Board, by which children from distant homes either have meals provided for them at school, or by which they can at least eat their own food in comfort and warmth on the school premises. The matter is one in which I am particularly interested.