§ 31. Mr. Bowden
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proportion of pupils are currently receiving free school meals; and what was the equivalent figure for 1966.
§ Miss Margaret Jackson
On a day in May 1976, 10.1 per cent. of the pupils in attendance at maintained schools in England and Wales received free dinners. This represents 15.2 per cent. of the pupils who took the meal. In October 1966 corresponding figures were 4.9 per cent. and 7.1 per cent. respectively but the figures are not directly comparable because662W they relate to the autumn term when take up of meals is normally greater than during the summer months. The latest comparable figures relate to October 1975 when 9.3 per cent. of pupils in attendance and 13.3 per cent. of pupils who took the meal received it free of charge.