Cool Milk, the UK’s largest supplier of free school milk, is helping 76 schools across two London Boroughs comply fully with the Education Department’s new School Food Plan directive on drinks.

Schools in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham and London Borough of Wandsworth signed up to receive their daily milk delivery from Cool Milk. The new School Food Plan’s directives on healthy drinks states that lower fat milk must be available for drinking at least once a day during school hours.

Cool Milk’s campaign encourages schools to outsource their school milk programme and help to increase the calcium intake for school children. All schools that signed up were also entered in a prize draw to receive a special visit from celebrity TV health expert Dr Hilary Jones. Beatrix Potter Primary School in Earlsfield and Manor Longbridge School in Barking both won and Dr Hilary Jones paid the schools a surprise visit on Wednesday 25th February.

Dr Hilary Jones, GP and Medical Advisor to Cool Milk, says: “It was a joy to meet the children at both schools and I had a fantastic time meeting staff and parents. It was wonderful to talk on a subject about which I am passionate. A healthy, balanced diet is key to good health in later life so providing the right building blocks at this early age is essential.

“Milk is the nearest thing you can get to a whole food in a single cup. It is packed with important vitamins such as A, C and B group vitamins, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.

“It’s really important that children and their parents understand drinking milk provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for children to build a strong, healthy body, setting them up perfectly for growth into adulthood. Not only this, if milk is drunk at mid-morning break, it provides the fuel to aid concentration and support learning right through to lunch, encouraging academic achievement.”

Mr Neale, Head Teacher, Beatrix Potter Primary School, said: “It has been great to welcome Dr. Hilary Jones to our school. He really engaged with the children who thoroughly enjoyed having him visit, and they learnt even more about why milk is good for them!”

Mrs McGorrighan, Head Teacher, Manor Longbridge School, added: “What a fantastic added bonus for the whole school. When we signed up to Cool Milk to administer our school milk programme none of us thought we had a chance of winning a visit from Dr Hilary. He was absolutely charming and the children hung on his every word. I think we’ll have even more milk drinkers to manage now!”

John Sedgwick, Managing Director, Cool Milk, says: “At Cool Milk we are committed to giving children the best possible start in life and by working with Dr Hilary Jones we help to inform them about the health benefits of milk in a friendly, fun and entertaining way.”

The Department for Education recently published its new School Food Standards and School Food Plan, which states that lower fat milk must be available for drinking at least once a day during school hours. This came into effect on 1st January 2015 and aims to increase children’s calcium intake, whilst helping children to develop healthy eating habits by ensuring they get the energy and nutrition needed for a whole school day.