Oral Answers to Questions — Meals in Schools (Cost).

– in the House of Commons on 18th June 1942.

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Miss Rathbone:

asked the President of the Board of Education the average cost per head per meal of school dinners in elementary and secondary schools, respectively, including raw materials, staffing, fuel and other incidental expenses; and, if the full figures are not available, will he give the nearest available figures?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

The collection of statistics regarding the cost of school meals has been discontinued during the war. Costs vary considerably in both elementary and secondary schools according to the size of the canteens and other factors. It is estimated that under normal conditions, the average inclusive cost of a school dinner of the type recommended in the Board's Circulars is approximately 8d.

Miss Rathbone:

In view of the considerable agitation that is going on for the extension of school meals, can my right hon. Friend try to get as full figures as possible so that the public may have an idea of the cost really involved?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

It is naturally important that we should have this information, but I am in some difficulty in getting accurate statistics. I will, however, do what I can.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Has my right hon. Friend sent out a circular to local authorities about this matter, and, if so, can I get a copy?

Mr. Butter:

The circulars are 1571 and 1584, and I will send copies to the hon. Member.