School Lunch Take-up Survey 2014
Published: February 2015
This feasibility study looks at what information schools in England hold on pupil take-up of school meals. It will inform a decision by the Department for Education on whether to survey schools directly about school meal provision and take-up and the best way to collect this information.
The study was conducted during the 2013/14 academic year.
You can download the report here.
- While nearly all schools offered a hot meal in the 2013/14 academic year (97%), the average take-up of school lunches was 42.6 per cent.
- The average take-up rate was 35.5 per cent for paid lunches and 75.1 per cent for free school meals.
- The price of a lunchtime meal ranged from £1.00 to £3.00 with a mean of £2.04. For every increase in average price by £1, take-up of school meals fell by 18.5 percentage points.
- Lunchtime meals were most expensive in the South West (£2.17) and London (£2.04) and cheapest in Yorkshire and the Humber (£1.90) and the North East (£1.95)
- Over half of schools, 59%, did not know the financial impact of providing a lunch service.
- Of those schools that knew the financial impact of providing a lunch service, 46% broke even, 14% made a surplus, while 41% made a loss.
We've been asked to contact a number of schools (both primary and secondary) to find out more about the types of information they hold on school meal take-up.