Channel 4 investigative programme Dispatches exposes what Michael “Groper” Gove and his rich chums are doing to kid’s dinners.
As usual with the ConDems, it’s all about saving money to give to the rich.
After Jamie Oliver’s high-profile campaign to improve school meals, millions of pounds were pumped into improving school canteens and tough minimum standards on food and nutrition were set and enforced. Reporter Tazeen Ahmad examines evidence that strategies to improve the food served in all our schools are fast coming undone.
A hundred and ninety local authorities and 108 Academy schools responded to a survey by the programme, which found massive variations in the amount spent on dinners, with some schools opting out of providing a daily hot meal altogether.
Dispatches visits one English primary school where the only hot food available to children is supplied by volunteers working from the local village hall.
Around half of our children now attend Academy Schools, free from local control. Education Secretary Michael Gove exempted them from nutritional standards introduced by the last government, promising that standards would not deteriorate.
However, the Dispatches survey provides worrying new evidence about previously banned products being made available to pupils. The programme speaks to one catering supplier who says that once again many schools are now looking to source cheap, low-quality products.
One parent did his own detective work to discover out of the £2.10 per meal charged by one council, only 59 pence was being spent on ingredients.
As a consequence many children are voting with their feet, either bringing their own packed lunches or going outside school and eating from take-aways.
Dispatches examines the councils trying to fight back and restrict the growth of fast food outlets near schools, and reveals the national chain reluctant to take no for an answer.