HC Deb 11 December 1969 vol 793 cc154-5W
53. Dr. Gray

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will introduce legislation making school meals free of charge as a supplement to family allowances.

Miss Bacon


Mr. Marks

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action was taken by his Department and has been reported to him by local education authorities as a result of Circular 12/67; and what further action is now proposed to ensure that the fact that a pupil is in receipt of free school meals is not made public.

Miss Bacon

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee) today.

58. Mr. Alfred Morris

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the increase in the number of free school meals between November, 1967, and April, 1968, and between April, 1968, and April, 1969; how many of those who had qualified regardless of income between April, 1968, and April, 1969, applied for free meals on the grounds of low income when the large family scheme was withdrawn; how many of these applicants were successful; and if he will make a statement.

Miss Bacon

Local authority returns of children taking school meals relate each year to a day early in the autumn term; in addition a special count was taken in May, 1968. The increase in free meals taken between the early autumn of 1967 and May, 1968, was 360,000, and between May, 1968, and the early autumn of 1968 was 77,000. Authorities did not keep separate records of children who qualified regardless of income, and the further information asked for is not available.