§ Ms Blears
The national school fruit scheme will entitle every child aged four to six to a free piece of fruit each school day from 2004. The scheme is currently being expanded to all eligible schools through large scale pilots on a region by region basis with funding of £42 million from the New Opportunities Fund.
It is currently available to all primary, infant and special schools attended by four to six year olds in London and West Midlands regions and selected schools in small pilot areas in other regions.
In West Midlands 89 per cent, of eligible schools are currently participating. In London, from 2 December, 78 per cent, will be participating. These are schools which have joined the scheme at the first time of asking. We expect the percentage of participating schools to rise in the new year.
Participating schools in West Midlands, London and the small pilot areas represent 20 per cent, of primary, infant and special schools in England attended by four to six year olds.