School Meals: Per Capita Costs

Children, Schools and Families written question – answered on 30th April 2008.

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Photo of David Laws David Laws Shadow Secretary of State (Children, Schools and Families)

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families

(1) what he expects the minimum spend on ingredients for school meals to be per pupil per day; and if he will make a statement;

(2) what the minimum spend on ingredients for school meals per pupil per day was in each year since the minimum spend was introduced; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Children, Young People and Families)

There is no minimum spend on ingredients requirement for school meals. Food prices vary by region leading to different purchasing power. It is, therefore, for local authorities or, where the budget for school meals is delegated to them, school governing bodies to decide what monies they assign to school lunches. However, the School Food Trust's 2007 annual survey reported an average spend on ingredients of 57p per meal in primary schools.

The Government are taking forward a number of steps to improve school food and help to keep down the price of school meals. We are investing over £650 million between 2005 to 2011 to help raise nutritional standards and keep school lunch prices down. This includes funding to help build kitchens in areas with no kitchen facilities; to better support the development of training centres for the school food workforce; and to improve overall take-up.

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