THE price of a school meal is being held at £2 for the sixth year in a row, the county council has decided.

Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education, approved keeping the price of school meals at its current level.

More and more pupils are now enjoying a school meal, with the number exceeding 10 million; seven million in primary schools and three million in secondary schools.

More than 39,000 primary children in Hampshire, an average take up of 40.8 per cent, enjoy school meals each day.

Cllr Peter Edgar said: “I am mindful that we are living in difficult economic times so I hope this news is welcomed by parents. In my view, these meals represent excellent value for money. The school meal service provides nutritious meals, working closely with schools, pupils and parents to create varied menus that are healthy and tasty. It also plays an important role in the development of healthy eating habits among children, which can be key to preventing problems such as obesity in later life.

“It has long been recognised that a child’s diet not only affects their physical health but also impacts on their behaviour, concentration and performance in the classroom. Eating together also provides children and young people with a valuable opportunity to further develop their social skills and widen their experiences.”