HC Deb 29 July 1982 vol 28 cc619-20W
Mr. Patrick McNair-Wilson

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about the provision of subsidised school milk in independent schools.

Mr. Peter Walker

Following the improvements to the school milk arrangements secured at this year's price fixing, I have decided that local authorities should be allowed to admit independent schools, including those for children with special educational needs, to the aggregate scheme for whole milk. This would enable milk to be supplied free or at reduced prices to pupils in independent schools, on the same basis as those in State schools, and increase the take-up of the Community subsidy. Claims under the school milk programme are made at the discretion of local authorities and my officials are consulting the local authority associations on arrangements to enable local authorities to recover the cost of administering the independent schools' claims where necessary. The Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce will be sending out details of the extension to local authorities in the coming weeks with a view to independent schools joining the scheme next term.

Similar arrangements are being considered for introduction in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

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