HC Deb 21 September 1948 vol 456 cc81-2W
Mr. J. Morrison

asked the Minister of Education why the cost of milk and of meals in schools in England and Wales rose from nearly £11 million in 1946 to over £14,500,000 in 1947; what is the proportion of these sums spent upon meals; what this represents per meal per child; and whether this sum includes, in addition to the cost of the food, the cost of the civil servants administering the scheme, the cost of those cooking and serving the meals, the cost of the equipment and accommodation provided, and covers the amortisation of the equipment and accommodation.

Mr. Tomlinson

The main causes of the increase were the 72 million additional meals supplied, increased prices and wages, some improvement in the quality of the meals, and the provision of assistance to teachers in the supervision of dining. The net sums spent on meals, as distinct from the Milk in Schools' Scheme and capital expenditure on new kitchens and dining rooms, were £9,690,000 and £13,344,000, which represented approximately 6.3d. and 7.2d. per meal served. These figures covered part of the expenditure on food and the full cost of cooking, service, authorities' administration, repairs to canteens and equipment, and rent of hired buildings. The remainder of the food expenditure, averaging approximately 4d. per meal, was covered by receipts from pupils and teaching staff. The figures given do not cover the cost of central administration or amortisation of equipment and accommodation provided free to authorities or grant aided at 100 per cent.