Jamie Oliver: The Government Is Undoing My School Meal Work

25/10/2011 11:07 | Updated 22 May 2015
 Jamie Oliver: The government is undoing my school meal workPA

Jamie Oliver has said he is worried the government is undoing the improvements made to school meals.

In an interview with the Guardian, the TV chef said he was worried education secretary, Michael Gove, and the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, were risking undoing the work made to making school meals healthier, which came about after his TV series, Jamie's School Dinners.

Some of the changes to school nutrition since the coalition government took office include ending the separate funding for the school lunch grant and exempting academies from the food standards of other schools.

Commenting on the changes, Jamie said:

"Honestly, I'm very worried. I've had a couple of very cordial, interesting meetings with the secretary of state for education and although I would love to believe that Mr Gove has school food high on his agenda, I've not heard anything so far worth celebrating.

"I'm sure he realises that there are clear benefits to having good food in school. It improves a child's behaviour, willingness to learn and concentration at school, and that in turn helps children to achieve more and perform better."

Jamie's comments come as it was announced children as young as 11 are set to be offered gastric balloons to help with obesity.

To help improve school meals once again, Jamie is asking ministers to apply food standards in all schools, in a new eight-point action plan:

"It would be incredibly disappointing and counterproductive not to make them mandatory for new academies too.

"If the government wants all schools to become academies in the long term, the reality is we risk losing the legislation that has made a difference as well as the benefits gained from raising nutritional standards."

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