Skip to content

Milk for primary school children

Related Links

Tell us if you want any of the documents on this page in an alternative format.
Schools participating in the school milk scheme can offer free milk to Foundation Phase children and subsidised milk to learners in Key Stage 2.

Schools are not obliged to participate in the school milk scheme and the decision is down to the individual school. Some schools might provide free milk at Foundation Phase, but not offer subsidised milk at Key Stage 2.

Milk from goats, sheep and lactose-reduced milk are covered under the school milk scheme and are eligible for subsidy. However, schools may decide not to provide these, even if they participate in the scheme. Non dairy alternatives to milk (e.g. soya milk) are not covered by the scheme.

The Healthy Eating in Schools (Nutritional Standards & Requirements) (Wales) Regulations 2013 (external link)  permits milk drinks in schools and milk drinks and products are one of the 4 food groups included in the Free Breakfast in Primary School scheme.

At Foundation Phase, the European Community pays a subsidy and we pay a top up subsidy. For pupils at Key Stage 2, we subsidise the cost of school milk alongside the European Community. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) administers the cost of the school milk scheme on our behalf. For information on the scheme, including how schools can claim the subsidy, visit the RPA website (external link).

In 2017 the Welsh Government carried out a consultation on updating current legislation relating to the School Milk Scheme to ensure that it reflects current policy and practice. A copy of the consultation letter that was issued and a summary of the responses is attached.

If you have any queries relating to free school milk for primary school children, please contact wellbeingshare@wales.gsi.gov.uk.