Share this page

School Milk Scheme and School Meals Service


United Kingdom

Age range

Nursery (excluding the ones under the Nursery Milk Schemes) and primary schools all over the UK, and Secondary schools in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland


Program overview

New school milk programme in UK promotes consumption of milk, promote healthy habits, educate students about nutrition, health and farming and its role in food production, and tackle child obesity

Meals in which dairy products are served

It can be included as part of a lunch meal or as a morning or afternoon snack, but neve included in the meal as an ingredient. It can be provided for free or partially funded.

Activities associated (ex: nutrition education)

Education on nutrition, farming and processing and health. Many schools are asked to create material, such as posters on the impact of dairy for health

Type of products

From cow, goat or sheep: whole or semi-skimmed pasteurized (flavoured with a maximum 7% of added sugar) fluid milk, whole or semi-skimmed plain yoghurt, lactose-free or reduced fluid milk, and UHT fluid milk. Standard portion size: 180mL, with a maximum volume of 250mL/day/student

Stakeholder engaged

Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland and England; Rural Payments Agency in Scotland, England and Wales; Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Education in England; Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs


If the products are partially funded, the maximum price is 7 cents above the cost of product to the school.
£6.8m UK for administrative service

Dietary guidelines

  • Every lunch must contain at least 1 portion of dairy products
  • Drinking (flavoured or not) milk must always be presented as an option
  • Semi-skimmed milk is preferable to whole milk, except with children under 5 years
  • Yoghurt or milk drinks (including fruit milkshakes, which must contain at least 50% milk or yoghurt) can be presented as a drink option (if containing less than 5% of added sugar)
  • Cheese can be presented as a source of protein in vegetarian options no more than twice per week
    Ice cream is not included in the category of acceptable products

Rules for procurement of dairy products

Origin: EU

Links for more information