A survey of 12 schools in a London borough showed that the protein and energy content of the average school meal was below the standard set by the Department of Health and Social Security for all age groups. Failure to meet the standards resulted from inadequate food purchases, poor menu planning and portion control, and several management problems. A 24-hour recall questionnaire showed that 5% of the pupils were "poorly" fed. These pupils were, however, no worse off than their "adequately" fed peers with regard to absences from school or academic attainment measured by reading quotient, but there was some slight difference in height and weight. The percentage of children having no breakfast increased from 4% in the infant schools to 21% in the senior schools. Two per cent of the senior pupils regularly ate no lunch.