Headteacher highlights free school meal problems

A PRIMARY school head has warned that she will be unable to comply with government policy by giving pupils free school meals from September.

St Thomas a Becket School in Tilshead has no kitchen facilities and cannot afford to have food delivered.

Headteacher Alison Trickey said the school would have to spend up to £10,000 on the service.

"Our budget this year has been reduced by about £20,000 because of the new funding formula, so actually I'm spending about £2,000 more than I've got coming in already,” said Mrs Trickey.

"I have made cuts in every single area apart from teaching staff, and we're not prepared to reduce staffing hours to provide free school lunches."

The Children's Food Trust has been commissioned by the Department for Education to help implement the free school meals policy across the country.

A spokesman said an adviser would be visiting the school "in the next week" to help resolve the issue.

Wiltshire Council says six schools across the county do not currently have an "affordable solution" to provide free school meals by next term.

Comments (9)

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8:26am Fri 4 Jul 14

karlmarx says...

I can understand the problem but in doing so another issue becomes obvious.

"The number of all children currently eligible to receive a free school meal is 1.3 million, of which 367,000 infants are currently eligible. From September 2014, 1.55 million more infants will be able to benefit from a free school meal."

Nearly 3 million school children need free meals now even though we are in an 'economic recovery'. Something must be wrong.
I can understand the problem but in doing so another issue becomes obvious. "The number of all children currently eligible to receive a free school meal is 1.3 million, of which 367,000 infants are currently eligible. From September 2014, 1.55 million more infants will be able to benefit from a free school meal." Nearly 3 million school children need free meals now even though we are in an 'economic recovery'. Something must be wrong. karlmarx
  • Score: -2

12:17am Sat 5 Jul 14

Champers says...

karlmarx wrote:
I can understand the problem but in doing so another issue becomes obvious.

"The number of all children currently eligible to receive a free school meal is 1.3 million, of which 367,000 infants are currently eligible. From September 2014, 1.55 million more infants will be able to benefit from a free school meal."

Nearly 3 million school children need free meals now even though we are in an 'economic recovery'. Something must be wrong.
No, 3 million children don't need free school meals! This is a badly thought out idea by Mr Gove. He's had this great plan to provide all Key Stage One pupils, regardless of situation, with a school meal without any thought about the practicalities of delivery. In the good old days, cooks were employed locally by schools but the catering is now contracted to outside agencies. A lot of schools couldn't accommodate this in their budgets so closed down their kitchens and utilised the space for other purposes. Those children whose families couldn't afford school meals had sandwiches etc delivered on site.

A paltry sum has been set aside for Wiltshire schools to reinstate kitchen facilities/plates/kn
ives and forks. Any shortfall will be up to schools to provide from their internal budgets. Where I work, they will have to find an additional £20k to update and improve to accommodate Mr Gove's plan. £20k that could be better spent on improving the existing learning conditions rather than give a 'free' meal to children who don't need/qualify for this service. Robbing Peter to pay Paul springs to mind.
[quote][p][bold]karlmarx[/bold] wrote: I can understand the problem but in doing so another issue becomes obvious. "The number of all children currently eligible to receive a free school meal is 1.3 million, of which 367,000 infants are currently eligible. From September 2014, 1.55 million more infants will be able to benefit from a free school meal." Nearly 3 million school children need free meals now even though we are in an 'economic recovery'. Something must be wrong.[/p][/quote]No, 3 million children don't need free school meals! This is a badly thought out idea by Mr Gove. He's had this great plan to provide all Key Stage One pupils, regardless of situation, with a school meal without any thought about the practicalities of delivery. In the good old days, cooks were employed locally by schools but the catering is now contracted to outside agencies. A lot of schools couldn't accommodate this in their budgets so closed down their kitchens and utilised the space for other purposes. Those children whose families couldn't afford school meals had sandwiches etc delivered on site. A paltry sum has been set aside for Wiltshire schools to reinstate kitchen facilities/plates/kn ives and forks. Any shortfall will be up to schools to provide from their internal budgets. Where I work, they will have to find an additional £20k to update and improve to accommodate Mr Gove's plan. £20k that could be better spent on improving the existing learning conditions rather than give a 'free' meal to children who don't need/qualify for this service. Robbing Peter to pay Paul springs to mind. Champers
  • Score: 4

8:43am Sat 5 Jul 14

SaveTheCarParks says...

Free school lunch for every child in infant school is indeed an idiotic and wasteful plan.

But you have to blame Catastrophe Clegg, not Gove...

https://www.gov.uk/g
overnment/news/free-
school-lunch-for-eve
ry-child-in-infant-s
chool
Free school lunch for every child in infant school is indeed an idiotic and wasteful plan. But you have to blame Catastrophe Clegg, not Gove... https://www.gov.uk/g overnment/news/free- school-lunch-for-eve ry-child-in-infant-s chool SaveTheCarParks
  • Score: 5

9:18am Sat 5 Jul 14

Champers says...

SaveTheCarParks wrote:
Free school lunch for every child in infant school is indeed an idiotic and wasteful plan.

But you have to blame Catastrophe Clegg, not Gove...

https://www.gov.uk/g

overnment/news/free-

school-lunch-for-eve

ry-child-in-infant-s

chool
Whoops! You're right :-D

A thousand apologies Mr Gove for this one (but you're still responsible for several other unworkable ideas for schools)
[quote][p][bold]SaveTheCarParks[/bold] wrote: Free school lunch for every child in infant school is indeed an idiotic and wasteful plan. But you have to blame Catastrophe Clegg, not Gove... https://www.gov.uk/g overnment/news/free- school-lunch-for-eve ry-child-in-infant-s chool[/p][/quote]Whoops! You're right :-D A thousand apologies Mr Gove for this one (but you're still responsible for several other unworkable ideas for schools) Champers
  • Score: 3

11:06am Sat 5 Jul 14

karlmarx says...

Of course any provision for the 'free' school meals will be provided by......not local councils but.....private catering companies. Watch this space.
Of course any provision for the 'free' school meals will be provided by......not local councils but.....private catering companies. Watch this space. karlmarx
  • Score: 0

5:57pm Sat 5 Jul 14

Grampie says...

I understand that at least one school in Wiltshire uses the local pub to prepare the meals.

The result is that the kids get fed, people are employed, the pub stays open.
I understand that at least one school in Wiltshire uses the local pub to prepare the meals. The result is that the kids get fed, people are employed, the pub stays open. Grampie
  • Score: 9

4:01am Sun 6 Jul 14

karlmarx says...

Let's take a look at Child poverty statistics and facts, supplied by Barnado's.

(Hopefully quoting Barnado's doesn't set them up to be demonised and vilified by this current regime, but I doubt it)


There are currently 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK. That’s almost a third of all children. 1.6 million of these children live in severe poverty . In the UK 63% of children living in poverty are in a family where someone works .

The Government has a statutory requirement, enshrined in the Child Poverty Act 2010 , to end child poverty by 2020. However, it is predicated that by 2020/21  another 1 million children will be pushed into poverty as a result of the Coalition Government’s policies.

These are the facts, is this a price we as an alleged civilised society are prepared to pay so that the top fifth of households in the UK can enjoy an 'economic recovery' while the other four fifths of society and their children suffer 'austerity measures'.
This country used to go to war over injustices like this in the past. Now we are as one, the enemies that we smite we have become.
Let's take a look at Child poverty statistics and facts, supplied by Barnado's. (Hopefully quoting Barnado's doesn't set them up to be demonised and vilified by this current regime, but I doubt it) There are currently 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK. That’s almost a third of all children. 1.6 million of these children live in severe poverty . In the UK 63% of children living in poverty are in a family where someone works . The Government has a statutory requirement, enshrined in the Child Poverty Act 2010 , to end child poverty by 2020. However, it is predicated that by 2020/21  another 1 million children will be pushed into poverty as a result of the Coalition Government’s policies. These are the facts, is this a price we as an alleged civilised society are prepared to pay so that the top fifth of households in the UK can enjoy an 'economic recovery' while the other four fifths of society and their children suffer 'austerity measures'. This country used to go to war over injustices like this in the past. Now we are as one, the enemies that we smite we have become. karlmarx
  • Score: -12

10:48pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Champers says...

Poverty. Depends how you define poverty nowadays. My mother and mother in law were from large families who had to top and tail to sleep, had to sometimes ask neighbours, as a favour, for food. Occasionally went to bed with only bread and spread with dripping. Because my mother in law was one of 9, they had to prioritise food. The older boys, who did the heaviest work, got the most food. The doctor cost 6d to call out for an illness/ injury so they got on with it or treated things as best as they could. This wasn't that long ago. We're talking about the 1930s/40s.

Poverty nowadays seems to be about not having an iPhone/flat screen tv etc. These people from that generation genuinely knew hunger and there's no way we should ever return to those appalling days but remember, I work in a school, and these 'deprived' children today turn their noses up and waste just as much food as their wealthier, supposedly better fed cohort.
Poverty. Depends how you define poverty nowadays. My mother and mother in law were from large families who had to top and tail to sleep, had to sometimes ask neighbours, as a favour, for food. Occasionally went to bed with only bread and spread with dripping. Because my mother in law was one of 9, they had to prioritise food. The older boys, who did the heaviest work, got the most food. The doctor cost 6d to call out for an illness/ injury so they got on with it or treated things as best as they could. This wasn't that long ago. We're talking about the 1930s/40s. Poverty nowadays seems to be about not having an iPhone/flat screen tv etc. These people from that generation genuinely knew hunger and there's no way we should ever return to those appalling days but remember, I work in a school, and these 'deprived' children today turn their noses up and waste just as much food as their wealthier, supposedly better fed cohort. Champers
  • Score: 4

9:51am Wed 9 Jul 14

gingin says...

Champers wrote:
Poverty. Depends how you define poverty nowadays. My mother and mother in law were from large families who had to top and tail to sleep, had to sometimes ask neighbours, as a favour, for food. Occasionally went to bed with only bread and spread with dripping. Because my mother in law was one of 9, they had to prioritise food. The older boys, who did the heaviest work, got the most food. The doctor cost 6d to call out for an illness/ injury so they got on with it or treated things as best as they could. This wasn't that long ago. We're talking about the 1930s/40s.

Poverty nowadays seems to be about not having an iPhone/flat screen tv etc. These people from that generation genuinely knew hunger and there's no way we should ever return to those appalling days but remember, I work in a school, and these 'deprived' children today turn their noses up and waste just as much food as their wealthier, supposedly better fed cohort.
My mother's and mother in law's family were exactly the same! Food was short, wages were short so every piece of garden was used for growing vegetables and priority given to the heaviest workers!

From experience of working in a school I have also seen tremendous waste from all children "deprived" or otherwise, but perhaps some of the meals are not very appealing in some cases.

It is sad that any child goes hungry but trying to give a free school meal to every child in infant school is not cost effective.
[quote][p][bold]Champers[/bold] wrote: Poverty. Depends how you define poverty nowadays. My mother and mother in law were from large families who had to top and tail to sleep, had to sometimes ask neighbours, as a favour, for food. Occasionally went to bed with only bread and spread with dripping. Because my mother in law was one of 9, they had to prioritise food. The older boys, who did the heaviest work, got the most food. The doctor cost 6d to call out for an illness/ injury so they got on with it or treated things as best as they could. This wasn't that long ago. We're talking about the 1930s/40s. Poverty nowadays seems to be about not having an iPhone/flat screen tv etc. These people from that generation genuinely knew hunger and there's no way we should ever return to those appalling days but remember, I work in a school, and these 'deprived' children today turn their noses up and waste just as much food as their wealthier, supposedly better fed cohort.[/p][/quote]My mother's and mother in law's family were exactly the same! Food was short, wages were short so every piece of garden was used for growing vegetables and priority given to the heaviest workers! From experience of working in a school I have also seen tremendous waste from all children "deprived" or otherwise, but perhaps some of the meals are not very appealing in some cases. It is sad that any child goes hungry but trying to give a free school meal to every child in infant school is not cost effective. gingin
  • Score: 1
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