Nigel Mills, Tory MP for Amber Valley, helped children at Alfreton’s Copthorne Infant School celebrate World School Milk Day by handing out the white stuff to the pupils there.
Copthorne was one of thousands of schools across more than 30 countries which took part in celebrations dedicated to World School Milk Day on September 26. The day encouraged children to drink milk and aimed to educate them about the benefits of milk.
In the UK, school milk is free for children in day-care or primary education under the age of five and subsidised for school children aged five to 11. Milk is delivered fresh and chilled to the classroom, distributed by children and consumed as a group.
This process aids children’s social development, including responsibility, independence and manners. Children also benefit from the nutrients and vitamins in milk, which aids their health and physical development – while also helping to ensure their hydration and improved concentration.
Copthorne promotes milk as it adds to their Healthy School Status which helps improve child health, raise pupil achievement, improve social inclusion and encourage closer working between health and education providers.
Head of the Rodgers Lane school Amanda Leslie, said: “Milk is a natural food which makes an important contribution to child nutrition. As well as providing calories for energy, milk is rich in calcium for growth and bone density which is essential to child development and enabling children to be fit and healthy and ready to learn.”
John Sedgwick, managing director for Cool Milk, confirmed that supplying milk to schools, nurseries is vital in helping children to develop important nutrition and social habits. He said: “Milk in schools continues to be incredibly popular and hugely successful in contributing to the healthy development of all children – but especially where children are struggling to get their daily nutrients.”
Cool Milk is a top milk supplier, working in partnership with local authorities and early years groups to supply free and subsidised school milk to children in pre-schools, nurseries, and primary schools across the UK.
The 1944 Education Act introduced a free milk clause which gave a free glass of milk to all school children in the United Kingdom under the age of 18. Today, under the Welfare Food Scheme run by the Department of Health, under-fives are still eligible for free school milk. Milk is also subsidised for school children aged five to 11 by the European Union under the European school milk scheme.
Health benefits of drinking milk from a young age include the prevention of broken bones and the onset of osteoporosis as well as improvements in dental health.