School Meals in Northern Ireland 2016/17 Statistical Bulletin

Date published: 11 April 2017

The Department of Education today published the 2016/17 School Meals in Northern Ireland Statistical Bulletin.

The purpose of the statistical bulletin is to provide results of the annual data collection relating to the uptake of school meals in Northern Ireland schools in 2016/17, this data collection is commonly known as the school meals census.

The key findings are as follows:

Uptake of School Meals (free and paid)

  • Over 187,000 school meals, both free and paid, were taken by pupils on census day, which equates to a school meals uptake level of 61.1% by pupils present for lunch on the day.
  • The school meals uptake level for 2016/17 is 0.5 percentage points higher than the previous year.

Entitlement to Free School Meals

  • 102,127 pupils are entitled to free school meals; this represents 30.7% of pupils.

Uptake of Free School Meals

  • The uptake level for free school meals by entitled pupils is 82.2%.

The full statistical bulletin can be found on the Department of Education website.

Notes to editors: 

1.  For more details about the statistics contained in this press release, or to request further information and analysis, please contact:

Adele McCauley
Analytical Services Unit
Department of Education
Rathgael House
Balloo Road
BT19 7PR

Tel: 02891 279241

2.  Media enquires to the Department of Education’s Communication team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.

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