Eligibility for the school milk subsidy scheme - milk consumed from 1 August 2017

Find out who is eligible to apply for school milk subsidies; who is eligible to receive the products; and which products are covered by the scheme.

Who is eligible to apply for school milk subsidies

Claims can be made by schools, local authorities, suppliers or organisations set up for this purpose. To be eligible to claim for the subsidy you must meet the rules, in particular the maximum selling price rules.

Who is eligible for the subsidised products

In England, Scotland and Wales, pupils regularly attending Ofsted-registered pre-school, nursery, primary or secondary school are eligible for subsidised milk, milk products and yoghurt.

In these areas, all pre-school children who are under 5 years old and in day care are eligible for free milk under the Nursery Milk Scheme.

Pupils under 5 years old (‘rising fives’) in primary education reception classes are eligible under either the School Milk Subsidy Scheme or the Nursery Milk Scheme but not both.

In Wales, pupils in Key Stage 1 are also eligible for free milk funded by the Welsh Government.

Not covered by the scheme

The scheme does not cover:

  • children in pre-school establishments where the milk has been fully reimbursed under the Nursery Milk Scheme
  • pupils in further education colleges
  • pupils in higher education colleges or universities
  • pupils in holiday camps
  • boarding pupils on days when they’re not receiving formal education

What products are eligible?

The following products from cows, goats and sheep are eligible for the subsidy:

  • whole or semi-skimmed heat-treated milk
  • whole or semi-skimmed heat-treated flavoured milk, containing at least 90% by weight of milk and a maximum of 7% added sugar and/or honey (only the milk element is eligible for the subsidy)
  • whole or semi-skimmed plain yoghurt
  • lactose free or lactose reduced milk
  • UHT milk

Products must also be of EU origin and comply with Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 and Regulation (EC) No 853/2004. These include the rules on preparing the products in an approved establishment and the identification markings the products must have.

Subsidised products must be distributed to pupils as a:

  • mid-morning or afternoon drink
  • a drink with a meal
  • a separately identifiable part of a meal (so the milk must retain its identity and not be altered or incorporated as an ingredient)

Not covered by the scheme

The following products aren’t eligible for the subsidy:

  • products used as ingredients in the preparation of meals
  • milk other than from cows, goats or sheep; for example, soya or rice milk
  • powdered or reconstituted milk
  • products used as ingredients in the preparation of meals where milk has lost its identity (for example, custard, mashed potato or rice pudding)
  • products that have been consumed by staff or visitors
  • products that have been delivered but disposed of (rather than actually consumed by eligible pupils)
  • products that have been consumed on non-educational days (for example, Sundays for boarding school pupils)
  • products containing more than of 5mg of added fluorine per kg (if added as sodium fluoride this equates to 11mg of sodium fluoride per kg)

Eligibility for administrative costs – read Calculate your school milk subsidy

More information

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Published 26 June 2017