Section 91 – Amendment to power to charge for school meals etc
102.This section amends sections 512ZA (power to charge for meals etc) and 533 (functions of governing bodies of maintained schools with respect to provision of school meals etc) of the Education Act 1996.
103.Subsections (2)(b) and (3)(b) repeal the requirement that any charge made for the provision of milk, meals and other refreshments in a school must be the same for every person for the same quantity of the same item. The repeal of this requirement will give local authorities and governing bodies the option to charge different prices for the same quantity of the same item.
104.Flexible charging will for example, enable local authorities and governing bodies to charge less for school meals provided to children of families on low incomes not eligible for free school meals in order to encourage them to take school meals. Use of flexible charging is optional and subject to local circumstances. This change will not affect the provision of free school meals (and free milk) to eligible pupils.
105.The effect of the amendments made by subsections (2)(a) and (3)(a) is that local authorities and governing bodies of maintained schools are prevented from charging more than the cost of providing milk, meals or other refreshments to pupils. Currently, there is no cap on how much a pupil can be charged. This will not affect the provision of free school meals (and free milk) to eligible pupils