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Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Monday, 20 September 2010 10:29 UK
Should Jersey pay for school milk?
School milk
School milk in Jersey will be scrapped after funding cuts

If your children like their school milk you may have to put it in their packed lunches in future.

There'll be no funding for the scheme after Jersey's States decided there are other ways children can get calcium in their diets.

Deputy Anne Pryke, Health Minister, told the States school lunches will be getting healthier and there the healthy schools programme is being rolled out.

She said: "School lunches are much more going to be health orientated."

Deputy Pryke told the States of Jersey: "The healthy schools programme is rolled out in primary schools and the healthy eating programme is part of the curriculum.

"Out of the 28 primary schools, seven have already reached it, ten are working towards it and the other ones are just beginning."

Jersey parents on school milk

Mike Kidman, a parent of school age children is campaigning to have the decision reversed as he believes school milk is vital for children.

He said: "In my case it is an absolute yes, children need that milk more so now than ever before because of the financial constraints, it is a much needed thing in their diet.

"The British Nutritional Board have said that, they said is was absolutely hugely important now given the fact they've got up to date information."

Constable of St Helier, Simon Crowcroft, also thinks the States decision was wrong and hopes to persuade members to continue funding primary school milk.

He told the States of Jersey: "I certainly want to have no part in a decision to abolish school milk in Jersey.

"I believe that free school milk for our primary school children is something we can afford to do."

Dr Susan Turnbull, Deputy Medical Officer of Health in Jersey, said school milk is more of a nice to have now.

She said school milk: "tracks back to the time of the second world war and afterwards when there was food shortages and rationing.

"It was a measure to protect children's health from undernourishment, we live in different times nowadays and there is no public health argument in favour of keeping school milk going.

Jersey primary school
Jersey primary schools are working towards a healthy eating programme

"School milk is a nice to have but we can't really argue anymore that it is absolutely necessary.

"Milk and other dairy products are a very important part of children's diets but in terms of putting public funding into that extra bit of milk during the school day is really not justifiable.

"Healthy balanced diets, its not terribly difficult to have a couple of pints of milk in the fridge."

Doctor Turnbullsaid that although milk is good for children, that wasn't the subject of the debate.

She said: "The main nutrient in milk is calcium, milk provides different types of fat and energy through fat, milk sugar and lactose.

"It is a balanced food, it is an excellent food and children should drink it but the debate wasn't is milk good for children or not.

"It was alongside a lot of other difficult decisions being made, is this the right use of tax payers money and at the moment the public health department wouldn't argue against that."

Have your say
Do you think the island should fund school milk for primary school children in Jersey or should parents pay?

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Shelly, St Ouen

If cuts need to be made, how about the island only funding it for younger children in KS1. This way the states are assuring the youngest children are still receiving free school milk and gaining important nutrients which they may not receive at home and whilst milk is important in the diet, this is not just the islands responsilbility but also the parents. However as I previously said if it is just funded by the island for children in KS1 this will half the budget.

Ian, St John

Once again its the little familys who has to pay. So lets dig up more roads and build flood systems that don't work. Its ok the middle class tax payer will foot the bill.Also give your self a pay rise doesnt make sense

Sarah, St Helier

I wouldn't mind my daughter losing school milk if they weren't boosting finance by £400k and not freezing their own pay.

On Twitter: @_markjordan

@bbcjersey its a joke my kids miss out on important milk yet the states are still getting pay rises and bonusses!!!!

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