Parents want school meal rules to apply to academies

The overwhelming majority of parents are in favour of all schools having to abide with minimal nutritional standards, but over half don’t know whether their school is meeting them.

The survey of 12,000 parents was carried out by Laca, which represents school catering managers, The Independent reports. It found that 73% of parents are in favour of secondary school pupils up to the age of 16 being banned from leaving school at lunchtime so they can’t buy snacks,  and a further 35% wanting even sixth formers to have to stay on site.

TV chef Jamie Oliver, who campaigns against academies and secondaries being exempt from school nutrition rules, welcomed the findings and said that he hopes Michael Gove will ‘do something positive with the data’.

Although 91% of parents said they were very happy with the schools meal service, 92% want an independent body to ensure standards are met. 83% of them want schools in deprived areas to be given extra money for catering and a quarter want schools to provide breakfast.

Sharon Hodgson, shadow Children’s Minister, said: “This just shows Michael Gove is totally out of touch with the views of parents. They understand that school meals should be healthy and nutritious whatever type of school you attend – but Michael Gove has exempted over a million children from healthy meals. Labour would change that.”

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