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#1 Fri 02 Dec 11 7:10pm

jamie

Chef
From Fifteen Restaurant, London
Member since Wed 24 Mar 04

Save our School food

Hi Guys,
As you may have seen from the recent press coverage and my interview with the lovely folk down at BBC Breakfast I am really worried about school food in the UK at the moment. Why? Didnít I sort that in 2005 with the introduction of legislation that stops caterers and schools serving up rubbish? Havenít we been making huge change to the quality of the food we serve our kids 190 days of the year ever since? Well the honest answer to that is yes we have. Loads of fantastic people including the previous government, head teachers, school cooks, caterers, parents and other school food organisations have put a massive amount of effort, time and money into making sure our kids eat better which really has changed things for the greater good in terms of our kids behaviour, their ability to do well at school and perhaps more importantly in terms of their health and their future.

The reason I am worried is that I truly believe this government is putting everybodyís hard work and success at risk. Their decision to remove the nutritional standards, the very piece of work that has made all this  positive change possible, from new academies and free schools means not only will  everybodyís hard work and money be wasted but our kids health and education success will be put back in jeopardy. I fear that as more schools become new academies and free schools we will slowly see poor quality food and the likes of the smiley face, turkey twizzler and the processed congealed meat that passes as a nugget or a sausage roll back on the menu in schools across England. It might be a slow process but it will happen. In fact there is already some evidence out there proving that.

We really canít let that happen. Itís crazy. I wish I shared Mr Goveís optimism that all new academies and free schools will continue to follow the nutritional standards on their own and although I am sure some will, I have also been in this game long enough to know that many wonít. The government are doing a survey of standards in academies but this taking time and money and it is probably far too early to see the extent of the damage to come. So isnít good enough. Surely, all the evidence we need to support nutritional standards being in place for ALL schools is in the disgusting state of school food in England before the nutritional standards were bought in 6 years ago.

Without the nutritional standards in ALL our schools we will slowly but surely go full circle and in the middle of an obesity crisis and an economic crisis we simply canít afford to do that. It costs nothing to keep the nutritional standards in place for ALL our schools. The hard work has already been done. The infrastructure and support behind them is out there already and schools and caterers alike are already meeting them so why not just leave things alone.

As in 2005, I need you all behind me here if I am to have any chance of influencing the governmentís decision to exempt new academies and free schools from the nutritional standards So if you, like me want to see the nutritional standards law in ALL our schools across England and good quality school food to remain on our kidís plates then please show your support by visiting my new face book page and shouting about it!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jamie-Ol … 7070136551

Big Love

Jamie O x

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#2 Fri 02 Dec 11 8:13pm

ANN

Forum champ
From North Carolina
Member since Thu 15 Jul 04

Re: Save our School food

Good Luck Jamie!  You have done wonders in both the UK and US.  thumbsup

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#3 Fri 02 Dec 11 10:52pm

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Save our School food

Mr Oliver , we have a lovely school cook at the school that I help in ,( I know she would be happy for you to call.) I have not seen the school dinners fr a while as I am in a different art of the building doing a sandwich duty  when I am in school.
I know that there is a salad bar that the children can help themselves to to go with their meal. There are baked potates with fillings , filled rolls , and hot dishes that are prepared daily . I am not sure how much frozen foods are used as I have not had the oppertunity to call into the kitchens for a while but I do know that she realy tries to cook what she can from fresh but of course this is deendant on the menu dictated by county and the supplier has is assigned.
Ths

I saw your interview on BBC Breakfast and as a result I wrote to a friend of mine who will be setting up an accadamy for next year.
I totally agree that we cannot have a backward step .

How else can we help to try to prevent this backwad step ?

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#4 Fri 02 Dec 11 11:24pm

Kye

Forum super champ
Member since Fri 04 Apr 08

Re: Save our School food

In order that schools always served good foods in France, we bought lunch tichets from the Town Hall once a month....depending on the parents income it was estimated how much each family should pay, if you fell into the first group say A-G you pay the tickets at whole price, H-O lesser etc, i have always thought that it was an excellent idea.

Kids either ate at school as parents worked or at home when a parent didn't work, i have never seen lunch boxes in the schools.

English friend made 4 lunch boxes every morning for years for his 4 kids when he was a single Dad, (his youngest was one year old, second youngest two yrs old when the mother left them)....he took them to school everyday before going to do a days work...if he could do so then why can't others....until at last schools and parents become better educated on the subject.

He now works in a school himself and is obliged to make his lunch box every day....in Essex!!

Last edited by kye in france (Fri 02 Dec 11 11:25pm)

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#5 Fri 02 Dec 11 11:28pm

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: Save our School food

Constant vigilance is the price of ringing the changes. Thanks for your constant vigilance! Good Luck Jamie!
I shared your post on facebook.

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#6 Fri 02 Dec 11 11:50pm

Grandmadamada

Forum champ
Member since Fri 19 Nov 10

Re: Save our School food

crossed  crossed  crossed I remember coming on this forum being curious about what was happening in UK ...... I cannot believe things will change again going to worse shocked  hmm

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#7 Sat 03 Dec 11 12:07am

Kye

Forum super champ
Member since Fri 04 Apr 08

Re: Save our School food

My husband often visits the canteen at middays to make sure that (the young as we call them) mentally handicapped adults choose their menus correctly... the nurse is always present and a tutor too....same but different story....


Mentioned just because that often it is the only decent meal that they have in a day, as with many kids in the schools that you are fighting for.

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#8 Sat 03 Dec 11 10:20am

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Save our School food

I do a sandwich duty in school and I always find the lunch bxes interesting , they are very varied , the children at school are a whole host of nationalities , from countries like  Pakistan , Bangladesh , Yemin , Malasia to name just a few with Welsh/English children are in the minority.
Its an interesting school and as you can see the children will have their own ideas what is good to have in a packed lunch box.

some children will happily bring in 'left overs ' from the meal the night before whilst others might have a sandwich ,  samosas , sausage roll ,pastie or filled bread roll.
Most children bring a packet of crisps/potato chips .
Not all bring a piece of fruit.
many bring some yoghurt.
some bring a chocolate biscuit , a muffin or a piece of cake.
then are the things like cheese strings or those little pepperami and only a few children bring these.
in the colder weather quite a few will have a thermos flask of soup or sometimes stew.
I have noticed quite a few sweets being put int lunch boxes recently , I try to discourage  ( sometimes a child might just have a packet of sweets and a chocolate biscuit or packet of crisps in their luch box  )this a bit but of course we cannot dictate to the parents what goes into a childs packed lunch box.

Those are my more recent packed lunch observations !

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#9 Sat 03 Dec 11 10:45am

mr edmundo

Member
From Lincolnshire
Member since Sat 30 Jul 11

Re: Save our School food

With you all the way Jamie, fortunately the school where my kids go is still producing good food but with the economy struggling so much we need to be carefull the cheaper options dont start finding their way back on the menu! crossed

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#10 Mon 05 Dec 11 10:57pm

faysherree

Member
Member since Mon 05 Dec 11

Re: Save our School food

Dear Mr Oliver , it is not only the future of school food that is facing dire times.  I am a food technology teacher and Under the previous government Food technology/home economics became compulsory as a national curriculum subject up to Key Stage 3.   The previous government realised  this subject was necessary as a generation of children had grown up without the necessary culinary skills and knowledge of their food to properly care for themselves and their own children.   Under the new English baclaurate This subject has under the coillition party been considered unneccessary, along with all funding for ingredients for those on benefits.  To offer Food/Design technology is now optional for schools and as an expensive subject for the schools to run in this economic climate.   help

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