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140,000 parents speak out in survey on school food

14 Oct 2021
A major survey of parental attitudes to school meals has highlighted demand for more choices, more information about healthy meals and more reassurance about special diets and allergens.

However, a huge 80% felt that the price of school meals right now is ‘appropriate’.

The ParentPay and LACA School Meals Report survey was carried out in June this year, and drew responses from nearly 140,000 parents. It was unveiled at the LACA Main Event conference session today (October 14th).

It showed that 93.9% of infant children opt for school meals at least once a week. This reduces to 85.6% once UIFSM ends at the end of Year 2 – a drop off of 8.3%.

However at secondary schools 91.8% of pupils opt for a school meal once a week.

And 80.2% of parents using a school meal service said they thought school meals are priced appropriately.

On the issue of allergens and special diets, 23.8% of parents said they felt it was not managed well enough for them to allow their children to eat a school lunch.

Among respondents, 9,418 parents (6.8%) reported they had a child with at least one food allergy.

And a massive 97.7% said they supported the idea that cooking should be part of the curriculum to help educate their children and help them make more informed food choices.

Download the full report here