Thursday, 20 October 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
191. Mr. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Science the position regarding school lunch breaks; if schools are required to provide facilities to consume and heat food or to provide a hot meal for students; her views on whether provision in this regard compares unfavourably with our EU partners. [29936/05]
Minister for Education and Science (Ms Hanafin): School canteens are not included within the current accommodation brief for new primary or post-primary schools. Generally a servery is provided for schools with general purpose or GP rooms. At primary, the servery comprises a small room with sufficient space to store crockery and a hot water boiler. At post-primary, a fridge and cooker is also provided.
The majority of the 400 plus schools in the school completion programme and more than 100 of the primary schools with disadvantaged status participating in Giving Children an Even Break, operate some level of breakfast or other meal provision, in accordance with the nutritional guidelines issued by the Department of Social and Family affairs. In addition to being able to use funding from the school completion programme and-or Giving Children an Even Break, the provision of school meals is primarily funded by the school meals programme, administered by the Minister for Social and Family Affairs and involving both an urban scheme operated by 36 participating local authorities and a local projects scheme. In 2004, some 82,000 children benefited from these schemes.
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