Saturday, October 24, 2009

Whose round is it?

I was on Sky news this morning talking about Stoke Bruerne Primary school who visit their local pub, The Boat Inn every day for lunch.It is a small school without a kitchen and a meal delivery service had been found to be uneconomic. Rather than just give up the head teacher, Mr Zakis made an arrangement with the local pub to organise a lunch service for the whole school based on the school food standards. The arrangement seems to be working really well with children and parents happy. You can read about it here

It would have been very easy for Mr Zakis to declare there was nothing he could do and leave the children to packed lunches yet his determination to meet the needs of his children meant he came up with an innovative solution.

Obviously the ideal solution is to have a proper kitchen capable of preparing fresh food and a dining room in every school. However given that this is not going to happen overnight some schools are going to have to use their imaginations.

If you know a school that hasn't got a kitchen can I suggest you point them to the School Food Trust website where they can find lots of advice on applying for funding and advice on making the most of small spaces.

It took over 20 years of neglect for the school meal service with no investment and rampant kitchen closures before we came to our senses. Of course we must act quickly but no one should be surprised if it takes us a while to make the dramatic improvements we need.

Finally, I just want to say sorry to the Head teacher Mr Zakis. Throughout the interview on Sky I referred to him as Ms. Sorry!!!