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Education and Inspections Act 2006

Section 86: Provision of food and drink on school premises etc.

419.Subsection (1) of this section replaces section 114 of the 1998 Act with a new section 114A. It extends the existing power to make regulations in connection with nutritional standards for school lunches to cover all food and drink provided on the premises of maintained schools. It also permits the regulations to apply to food or drink provided by a local education authority or governing body of a school to registered pupils at any place other than the school. The regulations may contain exceptions to the requirements prescribed. It is intended that the regulations will introduce new standards (food based and nutrient based) to increase pupils’ access to healthier food/drink options and essential nutrients, and reduce the amount of sugar, salt and fats contained in foods/drinks provided to pupils by local education authorities and school governing bodies.

420.Subsection (2) of the new section 114A provides that the regulations may require certain standards to be complied with; that drinking water must be freely available on school premises; and that specific types of food and drink may not be provided.

421.Subsection (3) of the new section 114A exempts food and drink brought on to school premises for personal consumption.

422.Subsections (4), (5) and (6) of the new section 114A place on local education authorities and governing bodies a duty to ensure that the standards and other requirements set out in the regulations are complied with when food or drink is provided on school premises; and when those bodies provide it to registered pupils at other places.

423.In the case of food or drink provided by local education authorities or governing bodies, the requirement to secure compliance applies whether or not the food/drink is provided under a statutory duty (e.g the duty to provide free school lunches under section 512(3) of the 1996 Act).

424.Subsection (8) of the new section 114A allows regulations to specify:


different requirements for particular classes or descriptions of schools or persons;


periods of the day during which certain requirements apply.

425.This is intended to give the necessary flexibility to ensure that the standards that are set are suitable for differing age groups or types of schools. It is also intended to allow appropriate standards to be applied to food and drink provided at after school clubs and at breakfast service.

426.Subsection (10) of the new section 114A ensures that references in the new section 114A to food or drink provided by local education authorities or governing bodies include references to food or drink provided by contractors under arrangements made with local education authorities or governing bodies.

427.Subsection (3) is a transitional provision preserving existing regulations made under section 114 of the 1998 Act. To avoid any transitional dilution of current lunch standards, this allows existing standards to remain in force and to operate in tandem with new food based standards, until such time as the nutrient based standards are commenced.

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