PRIMARY schools in Bolton are tipping the scales in favour of fish when it comes to serving school dinners.

Bolton Council has been hailed top of the class when it comes to offering children sustainable fish in school canteens.

The MSC, Marine Stewardship Council, awarded the local authority an A, meaning that most, if not all the primaries in the area were offering MSC-certified supplies.

Bolton was one of just 10 authorities to be awarded an A — seven were given an A*.

Cabinet Member for community services, Cllr Sufrana Bashir-Ismail, said: “We are delighted to be awarded an A for offering children in our primary and secondary schools sustainable fish. A lot of time and care is taken to select all of our ingredients for school meals.

“We also serve dolphin-friendly tuna as well as some Fair Trade products, free range eggs and biodegradable packaging for sandwich boxes.

“We are proud to offer meals which are freshly prepared daily on every site, with ingredients which are sourced ethically, locally and within the region wherever possible. Buying from a local dairy, baker and fruit and vegetable provider also helps to support the local economy.”

Nationally, the vast majority of young children are not offered sustainable fish in their school canteens, the figures show.

Just one in seven primaries in England provide fish that has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as being sustainably caught.

And the data also shows stark variations across the nation, with youngsters in the north of England and the Midlands much more likely to be offered sustainable seafood than those in the south of the country.

The findings come ahead of new mandatory school food standards, due to be introduced next year, which recommend that schools choose fish from verifiably sustainable sources, and ideally MSC certified.

Overall, just 42 of England’s 156 local education authorities (LEA) had schools offering MSC-certified seafood, with some of those only represented by one or two schools.