§ Mr. G. Griffiths
asked the. Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education whether his Department's investigation into the extent to which provision of canteens in public elementary schools is made is now completed; and, if so, whether he will supply particulars of the results?
My Department has now received from the local education authorities replies to the inquiry into the provision of school canteens in public elementary schools. These canteens are primarily intended for children who have to travel a considerable distance to school and are unable to return home to dinner, though in some cases children living near the schools may also take meals at the canteens. The returns from the local education authorities show that in a few counties the provision is fairly extensive, but in the great majority of areas there is comparatively little provision, although some authorities state that facilities will be provided as re-organisation is carried out. It appears that about 30,000 children regularly receive meals on pay-2668W ment at school canteens. These figures do not include about 5,000 children who receive meals on payment at feeding centres primarily intended for the provision of free meals.