Thursday, 25 November 2021
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
School Meals Programme
66. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans for the expansion of the school meals programmes, both the urban schools meals scheme and the school meals local projects scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57602/21]
The school meals programme provides funding towards the provision of food to some 1,506 schools and organisations benefitting 230,000 children. The objective of the programme is to provide regular, nutritious food to children who are unable, due to lack of good quality food, to take full advantage of the education provided to them. The programme is an important component of policies to encourage school attendance and extra educational achievement.
A budget of €65.1 million has been provided for the scheme in 2021.
The Programme provides funding towards food services for disadvantaged school children through two schemes: The urban school meals scheme and the school meals (local projects) scheme. The Urban School Meals Scheme for primary schools is operated and administered by local authorities and is part-financed by my department. 44,095 students in 301 primary schools benefit from the Urban School Meals Scheme. 188 of these schools also benefit from the local projects scheme.
The school meals (local projects) scheme provides funding towards the provision of food to schools and organisations. 214,574 students in 1,393 schools and organisations benefit from the school meals (local projects) scheme. Funding under the school meals (local projects) scheme can be provided for breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, hot meals and afterschool clubs and is based on a maximum rate per child per day, depending on the type of meal being provided e.g. €1.40 per child per day where a cold lunch club is being provided, €1.90 per child per day where a dinner club is being provided and €2.90 per child per day where a Hot Meal club is being provided. Dinner clubs provide a hot meal, but are different from the Hot Meals clubs, in that they tend to be provided by schools with onsite cooking facilities whereas food for Hot Meals clubs is cooked offsite and either delivered hot or reheated in the school.
In recent years entry to the School Meals Scheme has been confined to DEIS schools in addition to schools identified as having levels of concentrated disadvantage that would benefit from access to the School Meals Programme.
Prior to the introduction of DEIS in 2005, all schools and organisations that were part of one of a number of Department of Education and Skills’ initiatives for disadvantaged schools were eligible to participate in the programme, which included Breaking the Cycle, Giving Children an Even Break, the Disadvantaged Area Scheme, Home School Community Liaison and the School Completion Programme. These schools and organisations have continued to remain in the scheme since the introduction of DEIS in 2005 but their level of funding has been capped at the same rate year on year to allow for the concentration of the scheme on DEIS schools.
As part of Budget 2019, funding was provided for a pilot scheme from September 2019, providing hot school meals in primary schools at a cost of €1m for 2019 and €2.5m in 2020. The pilot involved 37 schools benefitting 6,744 students for the 2019/2020 academic year and was aimed primarily at schools with no onsite cooking facilities.
In Budget 2021, I announced that an additional €5.5m would be provided to extend the provision of hot school meals to an additional 35,000 primary school children, currently receiving the cold lunch option. My Department issued invitations for expressions of interest to 705 primary schools in November 2020. A total of 281 expressions of interest were received in respect of 52,148 children.
The 35,000 places were allocated to each local authority area based on the number of children applied by local authority as a percentage of the total number. A minimum of one School for each Local Authority area was selected. Thereafter, a process of random selection was used for each area.
Budget 2022 is providing for the hot school meals to be extended from January 2022 to the 81 DEIS schools that submitted an expression of interest but were not selected in the extension to 35,000.
The 81 schools are listed in the attached tabular statement.
Participation in the scheme is entirely voluntary. Schools and organisations must reapply for funding in advance of each school year and are required to submit detailed records at the end of the school year. Applications are accepted from individual schools and organisations as well as organisations such as School Completion Programmes who apply for multiple schools. The application process for 2021/2022 is still open.
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.
Tabular Statement: The 81 DEIS Schools being invited to participate in the Hot Meals Scheme from January 2022
|01356U||Kilnaleck Mixed National School||CAVAN|
|03220F||Mercy Primary School||OFFALY|
|03633H||Scoil Náisiúnta Bhantiarna Lourdes||WEXFORD|
|03928D||Mullach National School||CLARE|
|04809A||Scoil An Aingil Choimheadai||DONEGAL|
|05348S||Tahilla Community National School||KERRY|
|05513H||Castlepollard Mixed National School||WESTMEATH|
|06959G||Clonroche National School||Wexford|
|06998Q||St Patrick's National School||Cavan|
|08143P||S N Mhuire||CAVAN|
|08221J||St Senans National School||Wexford|
|09932B||Stanhope St Convent||DUBLIN 7|
|11470B||Slieveardagh National School||TIPPERARY|
|11986N||Convent Of Mercy||WEXFORD|
|13271F||Fairgreen National School||CAVAN|
|13611D||Presentation Primary School||DUBLIN|
|13696O||St Vincent’s Convent National School||CORK|
|14704P||Murroe National School||Donegal|
|14873P||Dookinella National School||MAYO|
|15027E||S N Na Heaglaise||GALWAY|
|15253N||St Patrick's Girls National School||Dublin 4|
|15362S||S N Michil Naofa||TIPPERARY|
|16054M||St Patrick's National School||DONEGAL|
|16108J||Scoil Naomh Treasa C||DONEGAL|
|16202B||Castleblayney Convent National School||MONAGHAN|
|16713D||Scoil Na Mbraithre||Limerick|
|16880W||Scoil Naomh Colmchille||Donegal|
|17105I||Muire Gan Smal C||Cork|
|17356K||Muire Na Dea Coirle Inf||DUBLIN 12|
|17498H||S N Naomh Sheosamh||Tipperary|
|17606H||Naomh Micheal N S||Westmeath|
|17665A||S N Gleann Guail||TIPPERARY|
|17737W||Our Lady Queen Of Peace School||Limerick|
|17743R||Naomh Muire National School||WESTMEATH|
|18086M||Dunfanaghy National School||Donegal|
|18343G||S N Chaoimhghin||TIPPERARY|
|18406E||S N Phroinsiais Naofa||OFFALY|
|18414D||S N Gleann Beithe||KERRY|
|18605K||Scoil Naomh Padraig Boys||DONEGAL|
|18968A||St Malachy's B N S||DUBLIN 5|
|19352M||Sc Nais Realta Na Mara||WEXFORD|
|19438W||Scoil Colmcille Senior||Co. Dublin|
|19515O||Sn Naomh Treasa||Dublin|
|19577N||Scoil Iosa||DUBLIN 24|
|19582G||Tallaght C N S||Dublin|
|19605P||Scoil Nais Mhuire Sois||Dublin 15|
|19642V||St Peter Apostle Sen National School||Dublin|
|19662E||St Michael's National School||DUBLIN 10|
|19663G||St Raphael's National School||DUBLIN 10|
|19694R||Scoil Mhuire Sin||DUBLIN 15|
|19743E||St Bernadette's Junior National School||Dublin 22|
|19747M||Scoil Bhride National School||LAOIS|
|19764M||Our Lady Of Wayside National School||DUBLIN 12|
|19785U||St Bernadette's Senior National School||Dublin 22|
|19809I||Abbeycarton National School||ROSCOMMON|
|19830W||Corpus Christi National School||LIMERICK|
|19840C||Holy Family School||Co. Dublin|
|19909M||Gaelscoil Peig Sayers||CORK|
|19929S||St Brigid's Senior Girls||DUBLIN 11|
|19933J||Scoil Treasa Naofa||Dublin 8|
|19935N||Scoil Eoin||Dublin 5|
|19946S||Rutland National School||DUBLIN 1|
|19977G||Bandon Boys National School||Cork|
|20036J||North Presentation Primary School||CORK|
|20091R||St Peters National School||DUBLIN|
|20124G||St Mary's National School||LONGFORD|
|20163Q||S.N Eoin Baiste||LOUTH|
|20173T||St Anne's Primary School||DUBLIN 24|
|20219R||St Paul's B N S||WATERFORD|
|20220C||Gaelscoil Ui Earcain||Dublin|
|20295K||Carlow Educate Together National School||CARLOW|
|20303G||Lucan East Educate Together National School||DUBLIN|
|20389T||Scoil Maria Assumpta||Cork|
|20405O||St Mary's National School||Limerick|
|20467N||St Ailbe's National School||Tipperary|
|20468P||St Dominic's National School||Dublin|