HC Deb 14 June 1988 vol 135 cc103-4W
Mr. Pendry

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many children in Tameside received free school meals in each of the last three years; what percentage of the school population they were; and what is the percentage for England and Wales.

Mr. Dunn

Statistics on the take-up of school meals in each of the local education authorities in England are available in the annual school meals census, reports on which are available in the Library. Information was not collected in 1985 because of teachers' industrial action.

Matters relating to Wales are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.

Mr. Madden

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his estimate of the number of children who have lost entitlement to free school meals in the area covered by the Bradford local education authority as a result of the Social Security Act 1986; what is his estimate of the number of these children whose parents will receive compensation through the family credit scheme; how many were previously receiving free school meals through the passport provided by family income supplement; and how many were receiving them under the local education authority discretionary scheme.

Mr. Dunn

In October 1987, the latest date for which data are available, about 3,281 pupils (or 4.4 per cent.) in Bradford received free school meals because their families were in receipt of family income supplement; a further 4,563 (or 6.2 per cent.) received them under the authority's discretionary scheme. From 11 April the families of those in the former category receive a cash benefit of £2.55 per week throughout the year under the new family credit scheme, which will also cover many in the latter category. Children from families in receipt of, or who are themselves in receipt of, income support (the successor to supplementary benefit) will continue to be eligible for free school meals. Nationally it is estimated that about 100,000 more school age children will benefit under the family credit scheme compared with those who previously received free school meals under family income supplement and local education authority discretionary schemes combined.