Over a quarter of parents were unaware their children were eligible for free or subsidised milk
Despite School Food Standards recommendation children should drink milk every day, only 55 per cent of primary school children were drinking milk at school.
35 per cent of six to eight year olds and 65 per cent of nine to 11 year olds were not drinking milk at school, according to research from Tetra Pak.
The Making More of Milk report found 30 per cent of teachers said their school was not making low fat milk available at least once a day, despite guidance in the School Food Standards.
Christine Browne, headteacher at Wheelwright Lane Primary School said: “In my experience, parents don’t want to pay for school milk.
“When our school has leftover milk from the infants and we give it out to the older children, they always want to drink it.”
of teachers say their school is not making low fat milk available at least once a day
of nursery teachers said all their pupils drink milk every day
of reception teachers said all their pupils drink milk every day
of parents said all children in Reception should be eligible for free school milk
of teachers said all children in Reception should be eligible for free school milk
It said declining milk consumption was worrying ‘given the poor oral health of children, high child obesity levels and poor hydration choices of children’.
Stefan Fageräng, Tetra Pak managing director for North West Europe, said: "With more than one in five children during their first year of primary school being overweight or obese in England, Scotland and Wales rising to more than a third by the time they start secondary school, there is a renewed focus on children’s eating habits.
“Children need a healthy balanced diet and as milk is a rich source of protein, calcium, Vitamin B12 and iodine, it is and should continue to be, a key part of our children's daily diet for a healthier future,” he said.
“School milk needs to be safeguarded and policy best practice shared across different parts of the UK to encourage greater uptake.”
The report suggested making single portion milk servings available as a mid-morning snack would encourage children to drink milk, while making it simpler to distribute.