Monthly Archives: April 2011

Jamie Oliver’s Brain Food Crusade Hit by Price Rise

“Healthy meals mean better grades, insists television’s top chef Jamie Oliver, but price rises put progress at risk

Parents across Britain will be asked to pay significantly more for their children‘s school dinners from Monday, in a move that experts say will lead to thousands of poorer pupils missing out on healthy meals. Prices will rise by up to 17% in some schools, with charges set to exceed £2.60 in the most extreme cases.

The higher charges come amid soaring food costs and in response to the government’s decision to remove protection for a subsidy that has kept prices low in recent years.

Writing in today’s Observer, chef and food campaigner Jamie Oliver says he hopes the government will continue to invest in “quality school food, and the integral support and training of kitchen staff”. He writes: “I believe that any compromise on a child’s right to a healthy school lunch… is child abuse on an unimaginable scale.” “

To read the article by Daniel Boffey in full please click here

Our View

The article includes some interesting key points such as “Children eating healthy school dinners promoted by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver six years ago enjoyed dramatically improved test results, according to research undertaken by academics at Oxford and Essex universities.” and “The chef’s nutritious meals were more effective than the government’s daily literacy hour at raising standards of English in primary schools. Where healthy meals were eaten there was a rise of 4.5% in English Sats results in the first schools where the scheme was tried. This compared with a 3.2% rise linked to the introduction of structured daily literacy lessons. Pupils took less time off sick.” Surely data like this should be considered when making decisions which potentially affect the development of students?

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Teachers to be given protection against pupils’ false allegations

“Michael Gove’s measures to enforce school discipline will include giving heads power to press criminal charges. As well as having the power to press criminal charges, headteachers will be able to temporarily or permanently exclude pupils who make false allegations.

Teachers will also get added protection through an assumption that they have behaved reasonably until the contrary is proved, and confirmation that they can use reasonable force to control children. At present, they can be suspended on the word of a pupil.

Nearly 30% of school staff have been the subject of a false allegation of misconduct by a pupil, according to a 2009 survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, which said that false claims blighted careers and damaged private lives.”

To read the full article by Ben Quinn click here

Our View

Any changes which protect staff from allegations whilst investigations are taking place is surely a good thing, obviously not at the expense of students’ welfare though. We await the details in anticipation….

What is your view on this change – good, bad or indifferent? Post your thoughts here.