The EU school milk scheme, which subsidises dairy products for school children, is largely ineffective and has not led to children consuming more dairy, according to an independent auditors' report.

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) found that in most cases, school canteens would have bought milk products anyway and said significant reforms were needed.

Among the reforms, the ECA recommended subsidies per kg increased "very significantly" so products could be distributed free of charge, rather than simply at a reduced price. At the same time, the scheme should be made more focused so subsidised milk products would reach those that needed them the most, the ECA added.

The report also assessed the EU's school fruit scheme, which it found to be better designed and more likely to be effective than the milk scheme.