What rules are there on milk in schools?
Each nation within the UK has different legislation governing what food and drink can and can’t be served in schools.
Since the School Food Standards came into force in January 2015, all children in all schools, except academies and free schools established between September 2010 and June 2014, must have the opportunity to access milk at least once during the school day. Many of those exempt academies and free schools voluntarily comply with the standards.
The Alliance has produced a briefing for the governing bodies of schools, who are responsible for ensuring compliance with the standards. This outlines their legal responsibility to uphold the standards, whilst highlighting the benefits of milk and providing advice and best practice on how best to provide milk.
Welsh children aged five to seven (participating in Key Stage 1) are eligible to receive free milk funded by the Welsh Government. Schools are not obliged to participate in the Welsh school milk scheme, with the decision down to the individual school. Schools with an interest in getting involved in the Welsh school milk scheme should get in contact with the Welsh Government via wellbeingshare@wales.gsi.gov.uk .

Maintained schools in Wales may provide milk at any time during the school day, but there is no requirement for them to do so. These schools are required to make “milk based drinks or yoghurts” available for breakfast, should they run a breakfast service. Any milk provided in maintained schools must be skimmed or semi-skimmed, with no added substances allowed for any settings.
Scottish schools are permitted to provide skimmed, semi-skimmed and other lower fat milks, but unlike drinking water there is no requirement for it to be made available. Milk can be provided either at lunch time or outside of school lunch. Guidance by the Scottish Government on the legislation, available here , outlines that “most” school lunches should contain servings from the “milk and milk products” food group.