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School food for thought

11 September 2012

The Guardian has reported that an investigation by Channel 4’s ‘Dispatches’ has found around one third of the 108 academy schools which responded to their freedom of information requests are selling food deemed not to meet the nutrient based standards which apply to state schools.

As part of the Government’s policy of allowing Academy head teachers increased autonomy over the running of their schools, heads can opt out of national standards for school meals which apply to other schools in the maintained sector. However, a 2012 study by the School Food Trust found evidence of “innovative practice” amongst some academies, and adherence to the national standards for the majority of respondents.

The greater freedoms afforded to academy schools allow them to source their own catering provision, and place greater emphasis on providing locally grown, healthy food for their pupils. As a government spokeswoman quoted by The Guardian has said; “many academies are already using their freedom…to improve food.”

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