HC Deb 13 December 1977 vol 941 cc142-3W
Mr. Pendry

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when she intends to publish the findings of the October census of pupils taking school dinners in light of the recent increases in the cost of the school meal; what is the current level of take up; how it compares with the same period in 1976 and just before the 1977 summer holiday; and how many children are eligible for, and how many receive, free school meals.

Miss Margaret Jackson

The information is as follows:

own food compared with 10 per cent. of primary pupils—last year 11 per cent. and 5 per cent.

School meals should be available for all children attending maintained schools. My Department has estimated that about one-quarter of those children who take school meals may be eligible to receive them free of charge, on the basis of the current net income scale for entitlement—which came into effect after the census, in November.

A detailed statement of the returns from local education authorities on which these figures are based is being placed in the Library.