Tuesday, March 24, 2009

LACA summit on secondary schools

LACA (The Local Authority Caterers Association) are concerned about the implementation of the nutrient standards for secondary schools. You can read a full account of their worries in The Guardian.

They are predicting the collapse of the secondary school meal service if the government insists they have to meet the nutritional guidelines.

Given the alarming health crisis facing the health of our children I am amazed we are still having this debate. It should not be possible for our young people and children to eat food at school that will damage their health.

Where secondary schools have invested in dining rooms, worked on the menus, reduced queing times, ensured the price is fair school dinner numbers have gone up.

When you talk to young people about school food their biggest complaint is usually the appalling conditions in the 'canteen' that see endless queues, food running out and expensive prices.

It is not nutrient standards that are to blame for low numbers but the shameful conditions most students are faced with.

I do remember similar dire predictions from LACA when the current food standards were rolled out.

After seeing some truly dreadful slop passed of as school meals I for one welcome the standards. They will at least offer some protection against nutritionally poor food being served up at school.

The school meal service should not be expected to make a profit. It should meet the needs of the children and young people within its care.

I will be going along to the Summit on Wednesday to have my say.