§ Mr. Mallon
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many students attending colleges of further education, in each year since 1985, were in receipt of free school meals until they reached their 18th birthday, and were subsequently required to pay for school meals; and if he will take measures to ensure that all students, who otherwise qualify for free school meals, will not be disqualified on grounds of age.
§ Dr. Mawhinney
The number of students in receipt of free school meals for the years 1985 to 1989 was as follows:
Number 1985 1,300 1986 1,507 1987 1,958 1988 1,150 1989 1,026
Information is not held about the number of such students who re-enrolled in the institutions in the following years and were required to pay for their meals. There are no plans to change the existing arrangements which give parity of treatment with pupils attending secondary schools.