HC Deb 06 April 2000 vol 347 c538W
Mr. Kidney

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make provision for free school meals for children whose parents receive Working Families Tax Credit. [117852]

Jacqui Smith

We have no current plans to extend eligibility for free school meals (which would require primary legislation), but we are working closely with the Child Poverty Action Group on ways of increasing take-up by entitled pupils.

Helen Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what percentage of school pupils took school meals in(a) 1979, (b) 1987, (c) 1997 and (d) 1999. [117825]

Ms Estelle Morris

The information is not available in the form requested. The latest available information is shown in the table.

Prior to 1989, data on school meals were not collected by the Department.

School meal arrangements in maintained Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools and all special schools—England
Position as at January of each year Pupils who bought a school meal Pupils who received a free school meal All pupils who took a school meal
19991 3 14.1 4
19971 26.8 15.7 42.5
19892 31.9 11.2 43.1
1 Day pupils only
2 Includes boarders
3 Data not available
4 Not applicable