Jamie Oliver warns Michael Gove on academy school meals
Published: 22nd Apr 2012 11:03:25
TV chef Jamie Oliver has said Education Secretary Michael Gove is endangering pupils' nutrition by not controlling what food academy schools provide.
He said he was "totally mystified" that academies were allowed to determine what food should be on offer, while state schools follow strict rules.
"The public health of five million children should not be left to luck or chance," he told the Observer.
The government says it trusts schools to act in their pupils' best interests.
A campaign by the chef led to tough new legal standards on school meals in England.
Oliver told the newspaper: "This mantra that we are not going to tell (academy) schools what to do just isn't good enough in the midst of the biggest obesity epidemic ever."
Referring to Mr Gove, who enabled more schools in England to become academies through the Academies Bill in 2010, Oliver said: "I have got nothing against him personally. But the health of millions of children could be affected by this one man.
"When there is a national obesity crisis unfolding around us, I honestly think he is playing with fire."
Academies are semi-independent schools so do not have to abide by regulations introduced in 2008 which set out strict nutritional guidelines for school food.
There are currently 1,776 academies in England and more schools plan on converting to academy-status.
The chef told the newspaper the national standards introduced should apply to all schools and said academy head teachers should be given guidance on the type of food they should be serving.
He also accused academies of making money from vending machines selling sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks.
Under the national rules, which are applied to other state schools, vending machines can only sell healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts and bottles of water.
Mr Gove wrote to Jamie Oliver about the chef's concerns on school meals at academies last August.
He wrote: "We have no reason to believe that academies will not provide healthy, balanced meals that meet the current nutritional standards.
"As part of the broader freedoms available to academies, I trust the professionals to act in the best interests of their pupils."
He said he had asked the School Food Trust to carry out a survey of food standards in new academies last autumn.
A government spokesman said: "We trust schools to act in the best interests of their pupils. There's been a lasting culture change in attitudes since Jamie's School Dinners.
"Heads know that failing to invest in good, nutritious food is a false economy and parents won't tolerate reconstituted turkey being put back on the menu.
"The tough nutrition standards remain in place in maintained schools and set a clear benchmark for the rest.
"Catering is outstanding in many longest-established academies - we see no reason that they will all not be serving high quality food to pupils that meet the standards."
At 09:01:12 in SportRelegated Grouville have ended the Premiership season on a high after a 3-1 win at St Ouen.
At 08:58:26 in SportPlymouth Albion captain Ruairi Cushion is to join the coaching staff at the Championship club.
At 08:55:14 in Northern IrelandPolice in the Republic of Ireland have launched a crackdown on motorists who use their mobile phones while driving.
At 08:52:15 in SportCornish Pirates forward Laurie McGlone has signed a new one-year deal at the Championship club.
At 08:49:24 in WalesPlans for a new opencast coal mine creating 50 jobs in the south Wales valleys are being recommended for approval by local councillors.
At 08:45:16 in EnglandYoungsters in Hampshire are being recruited to join a new police cadet training scheme.
At 08:40:05 in Northern IrelandPrescription medicines cost the health service in Northern Ireland significantly more per patient than the rest of the UK.
At 08:36:48 in EnglandFines against Devon parents for taking their children out of council schools during term times have risen sharply.
At 08:27:56 in HeadlinesThe Ukrainian government says it has regained control of the city hall in the eastern port of Mariupol from pro-Russian separatists.
At 08:25:19 in EnglandA man has been charged after a man died in a car crash in Ashford, Kent Police said.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Jamie Oliver warns Michael Gove on academy school meals [Online] (Updated 22nd Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1423843/Jamie-Oliver-warns-Michael-Gove-on-academy-school-meals [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
The number of older people in England needing care will "outstrip" the number of family members able to provide it by 2017, a think tank has warned.
AstraZeneca has posted a drop in first quarter profits after its earnings were by hit by patents expiring on some of its older medicines.
Relegated Grouville have ended the Premiership season on a high after a 3-1 win at St Ouen.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
The Labour Party is looking to sever its links with the troubled Co-op Bank, bringing to an end one of the oldest political partnerships in UK.
The Ukrainian government says it has regained control of the city hall in the eastern port of Mariupol from pro-Russian separatists.