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House of Lords
Oral Questions

However, in the mean time I hope the Minister can assure me that the Government's priority is to increase free school meal take-up among the eligible and ensure that all the schoolchildren whose families are in receipt of universal credit, when it comes in, will be eligible for free school meals. Can he assure me that the introduction of universal credit will not mean that fewer children will qualify for free school meals?

The Food for Life Partnership has been working for some time on the issue of nutrition. According to its research, twice as many primary schools received an Ofsted rating of outstanding following their participation in the Food for Life Partnership's work. School nutritional standards are highly important, as is Let's Get Cooking, which runs the country's largest network of cooking clubs. If you want to enthuse pupils and parents, cooking clubs are a great way to do it.

Baroness King of Bow: I thank the noble Baroness for giving way and commend her on an excellent speech. Is she aware that a third of academies have described school nutritional standards as a burden? Does she agree that the real burden is the heart disease, diabetes and cancer and other diseases that will afflict our children? Does she think that the Government could increase the urgency with which those nutritional standards are introduced for all schools, including academies?

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer: Yes, I think that children in all forms of education should expect the same standards to be applied to them when it comes to what is deemed to be healthy food. I commend the work being done to encourage children to grow their own food. Making the connection between where food comes from and the effort that goes into producing it has other effects such as making sure that less is wasted.

Hansard Link: Schools: Well-being and Personal and Social Needs