1946 School Milk Act

After the passing of the 1906 Education Act Local Education Authorities were empowered to provide free school meals. In 1921 this had been extended to free milk. However, an investigation by John Boyd Orr(published as Food, Health and Income in 1937) revealed that there was a link between low-income, malnutrition and under-achievement in schools. Following the 1945 General Election, the new Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, appointed Ellen Wilkinson as Minister of Education, the first woman in British history to hold the post. Wilkinson had long been a campaigner against poverty and in 1946 managed to persuade Parliament to pass the School Milk Act . This act ordered the issue of one-third of a pint of milk free to all pupils under eighteen.