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Stir it up magazine September 2013

EDUCATION Revolutionary ‘Plan’ to shake up school meals >> A new plan to revolutionise school meals has set itself a target of at least 70% take-up by 2018. The School Food Plan – written by So this plan is aimed primarily at Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, giving headteachers the practical the co-founders of the LEON support, advice and information restaurant chain – builds on the work they need.” of Jamie Oliver and makes a number of recommendations, including: At present, the majority It continues: “Increasing take -up of the Magic Breakfast charity,>> Carmel McConnell, founderc e ses:nuintco • Free school meals for ALL pupils of pupils (57%) take a is not something that can be done welcomed the Plan: regardless of their fi nancial packed lunch or buy from the top-down. It requires situation food outside school. a cultural change within each important it is for children to be“We can’t emphasise enough how • A ban on unhealthy packed lunches school. It means cooking food given nutritious food at school school meals cost andgthat is both appetisinyurrentlC • Pupils being banned from leaving £140million in school subsidies nutritious; making the dining because, sadly, all too often school premises at lunch-time and their provision in England hall a welcoming place; keeping there are empty cupboards at • Cooking to be part of the school will only break even if average queues down; getting the price Government’s pledge of cash tohome.As well as welcoming thel at least age 14ldren to eatincrease the uptake of schooli chgniht; allowrig rises above 50%.pake-uticulum unticurr • Academies and free schools The report found that the quality with their friends; getting them meals, we are particularly pleased having to comply with a new set of of food in England’s schools has interested in cooking and growing. to see that they have committed simplifi s improved enormously since “Many studies have shown that £3.15million over the next two ed school meal standard • Ofsted inspections to include 2005, when Jamie Oliver alerted hunger affects concentration, and years to ensure healthy breakfasts the behaviour and culture in the nation to the horrors of that well-nourished children fare are available to those pupils in the dining room the Turkey Twizzler. better at school. The government greatest need”. The plan acknowledges It says: “The best schools do a has agreed to allocate money to Linda Cregan, chief executive that the only person with brilliant job of weaving food establish breakfast clubs. And it added:of the Children’s Food Trust,oorest areaspn thei schoolspelhnging, growion – cookiducate the power to orchestrate vegetables, even modest efforts has promised to look at extending It states: “They need support from energy and enthusiasm we have go hungry at lunch.” need to work together.ingredients and how they alleen hugely impressed by theo-called ‘working poor’ do notplan is a reminder of the keysculum. We havensure that the children of thelunchtime is a classic, and thisento schoolree school meal entitlement, to“The recipe for a good schoolfiimal husbandry –ie and the currt analifb all these changes is the headteacher. their governors and leadership witnessed among school cooks, To help England’s 60,000 changing the food culture in a parents, volunteers, charity easy-to-access online archive will all want it to be is going to take an,deasichool caterers sharessts,“Getting school food to where weionitiaterers, teachers, nutrceam, but if the head isn’t behindt of the school. But many feel they serving food that is m cut costs to increase take-up. food in their schools, support fors much tooeheadteachers to take a lead onor cooks, and how tofgninirating behind,Some schools are lagging beifcsee such encouragement toareas, including: recipes, rotareas, including: recipes, rotas,But there is still work to be done.“oevery level. So we’re pleased toe ofgnd will cover a broad rana.to make school food greattilaitit l ts vid ioofd f goot headteachers alreadycrucially – continued support atll’e Wsrkof ‘What Wodeatercbengiorkers and many others workwfat won’t happen. The vasttime, continuing effort and –ith tty oievement, and to the broader loreveijldren’s health and academliichschool,ma b b li ch a lack the knowledge and experience bland, boring and b e.” You can read the School standards in all schools tod beige to improve th i fo d culture Food Plan online at continue improving children’srlc t www.schoolfoodpla com nutrition, recognition of the vitalflos role of the school food workforce and their skills, and help for smaller schools to make their meal services sustainable. “It’s now eight years since Jamie’s original school meals manifesto and the last national review of school meals. In another eight years, I hope we’re talking about this plan as one which galvanised government, politicians, headteachers and other school meals leaders to keep up a “The best schools do a brilliant job of weaving food support for good food in all schools,sustained commitment to and education... into school life and the curriculum.” and for all of those who deliver it.” SEPTEMBER 2013 21


Stir it up magazine September 2013
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