Thursday, May 28, 2009

Listen to The Food Programme!

This weeks food programme on Radio 4 is all about the LACA summit on nutrient standards in schools. They have recorded an interview with Judy Haragadon the Chief Exec of School Food Trust and with dinner lady extrordinaire Jeanette Orrey.

They interviewed me at the actual event but they may well not use my comments - I was in seriously ranting mode!

The programme is on this sunday at 12.20 and repeated on monday at 16.00

Update:Here is the link to the food programme


Anonymous said...

Just listened to this on iplayer. Really informative programme covering all the issues that make improving secondary school food so difficult. The one thing that really surprised me is that year7-11 are allowed out of school during lunchtime. I think even the very best school canteen in an urban school will struggle to compete with chance of a mooch round town with your mates, the 'cool' appeal of coffee shops and the cheapness of a bag of a chips which leaves change from their dinner money to spend on far more exciting things whilst they look around the shops. I understand some schools in Scotland and Wales are trialling keeping children in at lunchtimes. Does any one know whether it is proving successful and is there any thought being given to this in English state schools?

Jackie said...

Thanks for leaving a comment.

Many people are surprised to discover that children can leave school during the lunch time - especially when you consider year 7 students are only 11 years old.

However many secondary schools are moving to adopt "stay on site" policies which means children have to remain on the school grounds. The School Food Trust did some research on this which showed that this policy would be very popular with parents

The problems some school face is that they do not have the capacity ( and sometimes the desire) to feed large numbers of students at lunchtime and so allow them to go out. However the solution to this is to ensure that schools make sure they allow enough time and space to ensure they have the where with all to feed all their children. It drives me mad when they build schools for over 1000 students and then build a tiny canteen for 80 students.

Your post has got me thinking about the scale of the problem so I am going to see if I can find out what percentage of English schools allow students out.

Watch this space!

Sarah Rushton said...

Jackie, now I'm even more shocked!! It sounds to me that the Government really needs to start doing some joined up thinking. A huge proportion of the money and effort invested in the SFT will surely fall on stony ground unless this fundamental issue is resolved first. Do we know what the other political parties propose to do about this? This should be a major election issue. Look forward to learning more.

Jackie said...

Here is the response I got from School Food Trust about stay on site policies at secondary school.

Dear Jackie

Thank you for your e mail of 1 June addressed to Kate Christ about
"stay-on-site" policies.

The latest information that we have on this comes from the SFT/LACA
Survey of Local Authorities, conducted in January 2008.

Local Authorities (LAs) were asked about the numbers of secondary
schools who operated stay-on-site policies.

In the 72 LAs which provided information on those schools for which they
provided catering, 56% of schools operated such a policy. 30 LAs
provided information for those schools for which they did not provide
catering, and in these LAs 68% of schools operated a stay-on-site

If you would like more information and regional figures, please click on
the link to the survey report and see p19-20:

More up-to-date information will be available from the 2009 SFT/LACA
Annual Survey which also asks about stay-on-site policies.

The results for this survey are imminent and a full report will be
available on our website in late summer.

Best regards
Michael Bullock
Correspondence Manager
School Food Trust