Friday, November 28, 2008

The School Food Revolution

Here are the authors of this great book, Kevin Morgan and Roberta Sonnino with Tim Lang and Roger Hinds from DEFRA. The book launch was absolutely brilliant. Shelia Sissulu gave us a global picture and spoke with passion about the challenges of organising school food in developing countries. The image of the small girls in Yemen, coming to school, veiled, accompanied by their fathers and taking home a small bag of carry out food for their families is one that will stay with me for a long time.

Tim Lang was great and did a good job as chair of tying all the themes together.

Another highlight of the evening was listening to the researchers from Hull who did such a magnificent job of establishing a free school meal pilot scheme . The early results looked so promising and it seems scandalous to me that councillors pulled the plug on it for such short term reasons.

The authors have done a great job of putting school food into a global context and they deserve to sell lots and lots of copies.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Parent power in action!

Well done to parents and staff of Kirkliston Primary School who sucessfully campaigned to force Edinburgh City Council to re open their school kitchen. The resourceful parents did a brilliant job of collecting 1000 sigs for a petition and they persuaded children to committ to school dinners thus making the service viable.The school cook is absolutely right when she says that freshly cooked meals taste better than pre prepared transported meals.

The media love to tell us parents what a rubbish job we are doing - lets hope we will now be reading stories congratulating the parents at Kirkliston for saving school meals!

Well done to the council for listening to the staff and parents and then acting upon it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meeting today with Tim Laughton MP

I had a really interesting meeting today with Tim Loughton MP conservative shadow minister for children. I did remember to draw breath to give him a chance to get a word in edgeways but it is so great having the opportunity to get school meals high up on all political agendas!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Book launch next wednesday at Greenwich

If you are interested in the school food debate then why not come along to the book launch of the School Food Revolution next wednesday to meet the authors Kevin Morgan and Roberta Sonnino

7.00pm Wed 26 November
Wollwich Town Hall
Wellington St
London SE18 6PW

Key note speaker: Shelia Sisulu, ( Dep Director of World Food Prog)
Chaired by Tim Lang

To reserve your place email

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Children show the way

Children at my school have taken the lead in asking teachers to come into the dining room and eat with them at lunch time. The kids are really keen to see staff in the dining room at lunch time. You can see them in this picture making a poster for the staff room. The good news is that staff have responded positively and have signed up to take a turn.

Monday, November 10, 2008

When things go wrong

Wimbledon Park Primary have had real problems with the state of their kitchen and school dinners recently. Thanks to the persistence of their school bursar and the Head who were not willing to tolerate poor standards the local authority and ISS Caterhouse have taken decisive action. The kitchen will be shut while a deep clean takes place, (school dinners will brought in) and the staffing issues will be addressed.

Although it is disappointing that this has not been picked up earlier I am greatly reassured by the decisive action of both authority and caterers. They have not shirked their responsibilities and acted promptly.

I plan to pop in next week at some point and try a dinner for my self so watch this space

Thanks must go to the school bursar and headteacher who have pursued this. I have no personal connections with Wimbledon Park but I have always been so impressed with the love and respect they show all the children in their care. This extends to caring about the state of their toilets, playground resources and the lunchtime arrangements. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Board Member

Well I am now officially on the board of the School Food Trust! Scary photo to follow...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Steve Sinnott prize

Steve Sinnott was the president of the National Union of Teachers who died suddenly this year. There is a prize in his memory for a young global campaigner of the year.
I was keen to apply in order to take some young people to the developing world to give them another perspective on school dinners. Sadly we don't really meet the criteria but I would encourage anyone who is involved with global education to apply. You will need to get your skates on though as the deadline is 14 November.

I wonder who I can persuade to fund a trip to India for some Merton school students to research the mid day meal scheme . I bet the scheme has plenty to teach us.