Education Act 1944 provides for school meals and milk

The Education Act 1944 made providing school meals and milk a statutory duty for local authorities.

Section 49 of the Education Act 1944 allowed the Minister of Health to require local education authorities (LEAs) to provide milk, meals and other refreshment for pupils in attendance at schools in their area. Regulations would specify arrangements for funding.

LEAs were initially required to provide free school meals only to poorer children and to subsidise meals for other children. The meals had to be substantial enough to be considered the main meal of the day.

Source(s)

Lyons R.
School dinners: serving up a food sermon.
Spiked; 2013.