5 Apr 2012

Free milk improves punctuality at school

6:45 am on 5 April 2012

The introduction of free milk in low-decile Northland schools has had an unexpected spin-off: it's improved punctuality in at least one school.

Fonterra began providing free milk drinks last month for more than 100 schools in Tai Tokerau.

Manaia View School principal Leanne Otene in Whangarei says the pupils love their morning milk and it's giving a good start to the day for those who didn't eat breakfast.

But she says the surprise has been the immediate impact on lateness.

Mrs Otene says the milk is handed out at 9am, so pupils can sip it while they work on their literacy programme, and those who turn up late miss out.

She says since the milk regime started, children are getting to school on time.

Ms Otene says the school milk's a lot more palatable than it was in her school-days, partly because it's chilled in fridges also provided by the dairy company.