Chippenham MP turns milk monitor for the day
Chippenham’s MP Duncan Hames was milk monitor at a primary school in the town yesterday in celebration of World School Milk Day.
St Mary’s RC Primary School is encouraging children to reap the nutritional benefits of milk, as part of the day set up in 2000 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
Sarah Wembridge, headteacher at the school on Rowden Hill, said: “Anything we can do to help the health of our children is important and drinking milk is a great way to stay fit and healthy. It helps to build strong bodies and strong minds, to help stay active and learn well.
“I would like to see it offered free to over-fives as well, in the same way as I would like the school fruit and veg scheme extended. Not everyone can afford them in their diet.”
A lack of calcium could lead to rickets in children or osteoporosis in later life.
About 1.5 million children under the age of five receive free milk every day, funded by the Department of Health, while pupils aged five to 11 receive milk at a lower cost, subsidised by the European Union.
The 1946 School Milk Act gave every schoolchild under 18 a third of a pint of milk free, but Wilson's 1968 Labour government took it away from secondary school pupils. Margaret Thatcher earned the name Milk Snatcher Thatcher when she withdrew free school milk from over sevens in 1971, and the scheme was further reduced in 1980.
But two years ago Prime Minister David Cameron intervened to veto the suggestion of it being scrapped altogether.
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