School Milk Bottle
Embossed lettering on the side of this small glass bottle reads "School Milk 1/3 Pint". This glass school milk bottle evokes memories of the free milk every child received in primary schools from the 1950s through to the 1970s. They seemed big at the time...
Dimensions: 13 x 5.5cm (neck 3cm) / 200ml (0.33pt)
Hand wash only
No milk included
With a perception of being expensive and (potentially) harmful, milk was not a key part of childrens’ diet in the early part of the 20th Century. Also, several governments were hesitant to introduce a universal benefit like free, or even cheap, milk. However, by 1934 milk formed around two-thirds of school meals. Government did take action after the Second World War – mainly to ensure children received nutrition at a time of rationing. In 1944, local education authorities were statutorily obliged (through The Education Act) to provide school meals and milk. Further to this, The School Milk Act (1946) initiated the supply of a third of a pint of milk (every day) to all children under 18 in school. The Labour government of 1968 stopped this in secondary schools and, in 1971, Margaret Thatcher (then Secretary of State for Education) stopped this for children over seven – hence her, still remembered, nickname 'Thatcher, the Milk Snatcher'.