Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
To provide a contract to supply drinking milk to nursery and primary school children during term time on behalf of participating schools and education settings.
1. approval be given to the request to re-commence the procurement of the next School Drinking Milk Contract
2. approval be given to the request for a waiver of council standing orders to extend the current contract by 3 months
3. that the new contract is re-let as an Individual Cabinet member decision
4. that the complexities of managing a cost neutral service while making the best decision for schools and pupils in relation to the council’s zero carbon commitment be noted.
The daily service of dairy drinking milk is part of the school food
standards (The Requirements for School Food Regulations 2014).
Further reviews by the government-appointed School Food Review Panel
in 2013 recommended that every child should be given the opportunity to
have additional calcium and nutrients during the day, provided by milk.
Daily provision of drinking milk was therefore made a statutory duty from
January 2015 as part of the main body of the school food standards that
have been introduced in stages from 2005.
By procuring a contract on behalf of schools, the statutory duty is met.
Other Ofsted-registered settings such as eligible day care facilities
including children’s residential homes can also take advantage of this
contract for a service over 190 days per year. The definition of eligibility
is set out in the Nursery Milk Scheme and the School Milk Subsidy
Scheme. These Government schemes were created to ensure
compliance with Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European
Parliament and of the Council - Articles 22, 26 to 28, and 217. By
procuring a service that can include these settings at the same time as
schools, it offers better value for money for other day care providers.
When a drinking milk service is provided, it can be made available free of
charge to children under 5 due to an EU subsidy from the Nursery Milk
Reimbursement Unit. By virtue of s512ZB of the Education Act 1996,
those children who are eligible for a free school meal because of their
family income, any milk provided must also be free of charge. By
providing such a service, the youngest and the most vulnerable children
can receive additional nutrients and hydration during the day, which
contributes to their overall health and well-being, growth and
The other option is to leave schools and settings to make their own
individual arrangements rather than the council brokering the best value
service on their behalf. This could have the effect of higher prices for
parents if the service is not subsidised due to schools’ lack of time or
inclination to claim for the EU subsidies.
There could also be a reduction in the volume of milk consumed by the
youngest and most vulnerable children if schools decide to not provide a
daily drinking milk service. To do this would prevent these children from
receiving a healthy, nutritious drink during the day to supplement their
Publication date: 13/01/2021
Date of decision: 13/01/2021
Effective from: 20/01/2021