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Under the new proposals, offenders will not only need to demonstrate basic compliance, but must show commitment beyond this in achieving sentence planning objectives and in making reparation to the community wherever the opportunity arises. It is important that the public understand and have confidence in the basis on which prisoners are granted enhanced privileges in custody. The scheme I am announcing will deliver this objective.
On 21 July 2008, three pilots will commence in prisons and one in the community, all in the West Midlands. The pilots will introduce a standard format for the compacts for evaluation. I also propose an end of custody report for short sentence prisoners, which will summarise the offender's time in custody based on effort and achievement, and provide those who have shown commitment to their own improvement with evidence to take into the community. The pilots will run for an initial six months with the aim of rolling out across all prisons and probation next year.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): I am pleased to announce that the School Food Trust, in partnership with LACA (Local Authority Caterers Association) has released provisional findings from the third annual survey of take-up of school meals, reporting on the 2007-08 financial year.
These figures illustrate that the number of primary school children eating school meals rose by roughly 88,000 from 2006-07 to 2007-08. The number of secondary school pupils eating school meals fell by roughly 38,000 over the same period. This is partly explained by a 2 per cent drop in numbers of pupils on roll in secondary schools.
Average meal price in primary schools in 2007-08 was £1.66, compared to £1.63 reported for 2006-07, an increase of 1.8 per cent. Average ingredient costs were 61 pence per meal, 7 per cent higher than in 2006-07 (57 pence). Average labour costs were 1.08 per meal, very similar to the 1.09 reported for 2006-07.
In secondary schools, the average meal price is based on the value of a free school meal, which in 2007-08 was £1.78, compared to £1.72 reported for 2006-07, an increase of 3 per cent. Average ingredient and labour costs as a percentage of total service expenditure were 36.5 per cent and 48.6 per cent respectively.
In addition, in relation to secondary school catering provision, 54 per cent of LAs said that reorganisation of arrangements for meals was important (eg shorter queues, changes in timetable), as was the introduction of a stay-on-site policy (56 per cent).
In addition, in secondary schools, the main reason for a decline in take-up was pupils buying meals elsewhere in response to the provision of more healthy options (91 per cent). Shorter lunch hours were also seen as a deterrent (68 per cent), as was organisation of meal provision (62 per cent).
As part of our drive to improve school lunch provision, we announced in 2006, a new specific capital fund of £150 million in this spending review for authorities with the greatest need to build new kitchens in schools where currently there are none. Fifteen authorities submitted bids totalling some £46.9 million and I am now pleased to announce that all of those bids have been successful. This means that schools in West Sussex, Swindon, North-East Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire, North Somerset, Dorset, Wigan, Harrow, Hillingdon, Plymouth, Buckinghamshire, Bournemouth, Northamptonshire, Kingston upon Thames and Worcestershire will have new school kitchens over the next three years.
I am also pleased to announce that the remainder of this £150 million specific fund for school kitchens will be made available to all local authorities which submit plans to increase school lunch take-up by building or improving school kitchens and upgrading dining facilities and systems. This means that all authorities and schools will have the opportunity to improve school lunches and increase take-up through better preparation facilities and more attractive dining areas.
Finally, we have decided to provide the School Food Trust with an extra £6 million over the next three years to promote healthy food to young people and raise take-up. This is on top of the £21 million funding settlement the School Food Trust received in March.
The School Food Trust carries out a survey in April of each year to estimate the take-up of school meals nationally. The trust asks the catering officers in 150 local authorities (LAs) to provide information on take-up and highlight the factors that they believe have most influenced the change in take-up in the previous year. This years survey has been conducted in close collaboration with LACA (the Local Authority Caterers Association) and in consultation with other interested stakeholders.
To date, 105 responses have been received from local authorities. The figures quoted above are provisional, based on responses from 70 LAs covering school-meal provision in primary schools and responses from 59 LAs covering school-meal provision in secondary schools, as clarification of information is ongoing. A full report of the survey results will be published on the trust website in September 2008. The final report will include information nationally and by region on:take-up of school meals;changes in take-up between 2006-07 and 2007-08;meal prices;ingredient and labour costs;factors felt to be responsible for changes in demand; andkitchen facilities.
An interim report is available on the trust website at www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk.
The Government announced a five-point plan for school food in September 2006, including a new specific capital fund for authorities with the greatest need to build new kitchens in schools where currently there is none.
The remainder of the £150 million fund will be made available to local authorities which submit plans to increase school lunch take-up by building or improving school kitchens and upgrading dining facilities and systems. Further details will be published in due course.
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