Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gove happy to regulate new academies and free schools

Unbelievable! So Gove is absolutely happy to insist that the new academies and free schools he is hell bent on setting up will be forced to teach about the sanctity of marriage but completely free to serve poor quality food that doesn't meet minimum nutritional standards. Have a look at the story in todays Telegraph

This just shows how right Jamie Oliver, Children's Food Campaign and LACA are to fight this dangerous ruling. School Food Trust - please don't give this government any more cover.

Below is a copy of the letter I have sent to the Trust:

Hi Rob,

Thanks so much for your reply. I disagree that we need to collect evidence.

Firstly, we already know what happens when minimum nutritional standards are removed. The abolishing of these standards in 1980 led directly to appalling quality school meals. We certainly have plenty of evidence already to support this position.

Secondly, given how recently new academies have been released from the standards it is highly unlikely you will find much evidence of degeneration yet. However just because they are keeping largely to the standards now is no guarantee that they will do so 6 months, a year, 2 years from now. Are you not worried that if you produce a report saying that by and large the academies are keeping to the standards you will be effectively undermining the case for any school to be held to nutritional standards? I could well imagine the government using a report to make such a case.

I am concerned that Headteachers are facing very difficult financial decisions. Just last Friday we learned that music education faces a 27% budget reduction. Faced with this sort of news I am worried that some heads may well be tempted to make catering arrangements that allow them to make money from their school canteens by stocking confectionery and other items we were so pleased to see the back of.

I have huge respect for your work Rob and think that you and Judy have done a fantastic job with The School Food Trust. I am simply raising these concerns because I am deeply worried that this government is effectively engineering the demise of the standards that have done so much to protect children. I think that your review of the academies is fraught with danger and I raise this not to be difficult but as a friend.

The government are fighting on many fronts at the moment. Making a u turn on this will not cost them any money. I think it is worth pursuing.


Joy Stevenson said...

All power to everyone fighting on this front