School Meals

Department for Education written question – answered on 22nd July 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide a healthy and nutritious school lunch programme for the forthcoming academic year.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We expect that kitchens will be fully open from the start of the autumn term and normal legal requirements will apply about provision of food to all pupils who want it, including for those eligible for benefits-related free school meals or universal infant free school meals.

The Schools Food Standards provide the legislative framework to ensure schools provide children with healthy food and drink options, and to ensure that children get the energy and nutrition they need across the school day.

The standards define the foods and drinks that must be provided, which foods are restricted, and those, which must not be provided. They apply to all food and drink provided to pupils on and off school premises and during an extended school day (up to 6pm), including school trips, breakfast clubs, tuck shops, mid-morning break, vending and after school clubs.

The department's advice on school food standards is available here:

A summary of the standards and a practical guide are available from the school food plan website at:

We believe that the School Food Standards have been transformational in the way schools operate their meal services, but we know we must do more. We will be updating these standards to bring them into line with revised nutritional recommendations on sugar and fibre, and looking at how we can make the standards more consistent across the school day.

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