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Milk in schools scheme

During the late 1920s, amid concerns over the health and fitness of the population, the first Milk in schools scheme (MISS) was introduced in major cities. In 1933, the government began to debate funding the nationwide extension of the scheme.

The government launched the MISS in October 1934, benefiting 2.6 million children in England and Wales. The MISS was not entirely altruistic and had been conceived at a time when the dairy industry was struggling to compete with foreign imports.

The Milk Act, which established the MISS, was only seen as a temporary measure lasting 18 months. However, further extensions to the scheme were made in 1936, 1937, 1938 and 1939.

In 1944, the provision of school milk become permanent.


Atkins PJ.
The Milk in Schools Scheme, 1934-45: nationalization and resistance.
History of education.
2005; 34(1): 1–21.

Manchester Guardian.
From the archive, 27 March 1934: Meals and milk for children.
The Guardian; 2010.