Education (Scotland) Bill.

Part of Supplementary Vote of Credit, 1941. – in the House of Commons on 16th December 1941.

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Photo of Mr Joseph Westwood Mr Joseph Westwood , Stirling and Falkirk District of Burghs

Nursery schools are included. There is no limitation. In a previous Debate, the hon. Member pointed out that, because of war conditions, you would have children who could not attend school until the first entrance date after they had reached the age of five, instead of going on the last entrance date before they reached the age of five, and that, in the meantime, there was no provision for that child. But we are deeming, for the purposes of this Bill, that a child who reaches the age of five, although not in attendance at school, is entitled to milk. This Bill will provide for children attending any school. We are helping some of the poorer authorities by raising their grant and, as I have said, we shall not be satisfied unless we have raised the 7 per cent., which is the present figures of those who are receiving nourishment, to 20 per cent. by midsummer. That is only a step which we are taking, in the hope that the maximum number of children will benefit, and that we shall get the maximum co-operation from those responsible for the administration of the scheme. We agree that what has to be considered is not so much the cost of the meal as the real nutritional value. We will stress to local authorities that their aim must be the provision of meals of real nutritional value. To help the local authorities, my right hon. Friend is going to appoint a nutritional expert. Then we shall impress upon the local authorities the need for more training in domestic science. We shall train the girls, especially, during the last two years of school life to make good substantial meals and to get real value from the money expended. That brings me to the point made by the hon. Member opposite, that we should have standardisation. You cannot have standardisation in regard to either education or the provision of meals.