§ Mr. Breed
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health regarding the reintroduction of free milk for school children; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what recent representations he has received regarding the reintroduction of free milk for school children; 347W
(3) what assessment he has made of the feasibility of reintroducing free milk for school children. 
§ Jacqui Smith
The law already requires that those local education authorities and schools that choose to provide milk must make it available, without charge, to pupils whose parents receive Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance. My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Education and Employment and the Secretary of State for Health have not had any recent discussions about extending eligibility for free school milk. In the last six months we have received only three letters from members of the public pressing for the re-introduction of compulsory free school milk for all school children.
The Government have no plans to extend eligibility for free school milk or to make the serving of free milk compulsory. We have not therefore assessed the feasibility of doing so. We have however legislated to allow free drinking milk to be served at any time during the day, rather than only at lunchtime.
Milk is one of many foods that play an important part in a balanced diet. Milk and dairy foods are part of our proposals for minimum nutritional standards for school lunches, which will come into operation next year. We will be recommending in our guidance to school caterers that drinking milk should be made available every day. We also encourage schools to claim existing subsidies for school milk, such as those available through the European Community School Milk Subsidy Scheme.