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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Letter to Secretary of State for Education from 50 headteachers

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
House of Commons
10 November 2010

Dear Secretary of State,
We the undersigned ask you to protect the vital school lunch service from the cuts to Local Authority budgets. Good school meals are essential to protect pupil’s health and improve behaviour, motivation and ability to learn and achieve. Better access to good food at school means better health and improved life chances, especially for poorer pupils.
There is good evidence to support this, and we have personally witnessed the transformative effects of improved school meals. Our schools are among the 3,000 schools involved in the Food for Life Partnership, where quality food is matched by food education, cooking lessons, on-site food growing and improvements to the dining area. In less than two years, meal take-up amongst Food for Life Partnership Bronze, Silver and Gold schools has risen by almost three times the national average. This approach enables a ‘virtuous circle’ of improved food quality and further increased lunch take-up, spreading fixed costs further and ensuring a quality catering service remains economically viable.
A quarter of children are now overweight or obese, meaning they are more likely to suffer from serious health problems later in life costing the NHS an estimated £10 billion a year. Many children are also malnourished, meaning they lack the vitamins and minerals essential to maximise health and ability to learn. As Under-Secretary of State Tim Loughton acknowledged in the Commons recently, school meals “often represent the only nutritious meal in some children’s day”. Improving school food and food culture can help to cut the cost of ill health and teach children to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. The implementation of food and nutritional standards in primary and secondary schools has seen great improvement in the quality of food served in schools, but these improvements are now at risk from the pressures on budgets.
We believe that by involving the whole school community in improving food culture, and providing healthy and sustainable school meals on a limited budget, every child is given the opportunity to get the start in life they deserve. We urge you to protect the school lunch service from changes to local authority and school budgets.

Yours sincerely,

Kevin Broadway, All Saints School, Wyke Regis
Yvonne McLean, Ashdene Primary, Wilmslow
Martin Craig, Balby Carr Sport and Science Learning Community, South Yorkshire
Jean Primmer, Barrow Hill Primary, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Cristina Brilhante, Bradfields School, Chatham, Kent
Margaret Portus, Bradley Barton Primary School and Nursery Unit, Newton Abbott, Devon
Mark Eager, Brixham College, Torbay, Devon
Diane Herbert, Burnwood Community School, Stoke on Trent
Paul Frost, Cambois First School Blyth, Northumberland
Ms Dwyer, Clifford Holroyde EBD College, Liverpool
Maureen Batty, Coppice Farm Primary School, Nottinghamshire
Alex Young, Cottingham High School, East Riding, West Yorkshire
Gerry Heynes, Courthouse School, Maidenhead, Kent
Brenda Jones, Cranmore Infant School, Solihull, West Midlands
Maurice Rushbrook, Cranwell Primary School, Lincolnshire
Marilyn Phipps, Damson Wood Infant School, Solihull
Karen Purser, Durrington High School, Worthing, West Sussex
Anthony Tierney, Fairfield Endowed Junior School, Buxton, Derbyshire
Peter Harris, Farsley Farfield Primary School, West Yorkshire
Lee Ryman, Fir Tree Junior School, Wallington, Oxford
Peggy A Farrington, Hanham High School, Bristol
Catherine Sykes, Hemsworth Arts and Community College, Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Gill Bassett, Lacey Gardens Junior School, Louth, Lincolnshire
Caroline Seaman, Ludlow CE School, Ludlow, Shropshire
Ms A Thomson, Marlborough School Science College, Hertfordshire
Samantha Williams, Middleton Primary School, Leeds
Tamsin Dyer, Mousehole Primary School, Mousehole, Cornwall
Mrs. Elizabeth Ditton, Nacton CEVC Primary School, Nacton, Suffolk
Mrs Diane Appleby, Seething & Mundham Primary School, Seething, Norfolk
Mrs Sarah Howat, Seething & Mundham Primary School, Seething, Norfolk
Morag Kingsbury, St Andrew's CofE Primary School, Chardstock,Devon
Jan Abrams, St Leonard's Heath and Reach VA Lower School, Leyton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
Robert Entwistle, St Peter's CE Middle School, Old Windsor, Berkshire
Elizabeth Stubbs, St Stephen's CE Junior School, Twickenham, London
Anne-Marie McElhinney, St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, Eastfield, Peterborough
Mike Pyle, St Wilfred's Catholic High School and Sixth Form College, West Yorkshire
Steven P Hatcher, St. Aidan's Church of England High School, Harrogate, Yorkshire
Karen Walker, St. Andrew's VA Primary School, Salisbury,
Martin Harding, St. Michael's C of E Primary School, Kingsteington, Devon
David L Yeld, The Downs Primary School and Nursery, Essex
Anne Hendon-John, The Polygon School, Southampton
Ann Thornton, Wallsend Jubilee Primary School, Tyne and Wear
Douglas Bone, Wandle Valley School, Carshalton Surrey
Mandy Simmons, Wandle Valley School, Carshalton Surrey
Ian Johnston, William Morris School, Walthamstow, London
Robin Reynolds, Woodgate Primary School, Bartley Green, Birmingham
Margaret Beel, Lyndhurst Primary, Portsmouth
Ian Nurser, St Peters (controlled) Primary, Wem, Shropshire
Jo Claridge, Oldfield Park Infants School, Somerset

Well done Food for Life Partnership for bringing these schools together

2 comments:

Mulanxox said...

Hey
Just wanna say I stumbled across your blog and love it!
School dinners have changed drastically since I was at school!
Looks yummier!

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