Bradford Telegraph and ArgusOliver attacks Gove on school meals (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)

Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email

National News

Oliver attacks Gove on school meals

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jamie Oliver said he was 'totally mystified' why school meal guidelines do not apply to academies Jamie Oliver said he was 'totally mystified' why school meal guidelines do not apply to academies

Jamie Oliver has aimed a stinging attack at Education Secretary Michael Gove's flagship academy programme, claiming the schools are lowering nutrition levels among pupils and profiteering from junk food vending machines

The celebrity chef, who has campaigned for healthier school meals over the past decade, warned the progress made in recent years risks being undone by new academies which are allowed to ignore nutrient-based Government standards.

In an interview with The Observer Food Monthly, Oliver said: "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.

"The public health of five million children should not be left to luck or chance."

The chef said he was "totally mystified" as to why academies are being allowed to determine what food should be on offer, while state schools follow the national standards introduced in 2008.

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."

Oliver, who has recently taken his fight to improve school meals to America, said the national standards should apply to all schools and called for headteachers of academies to be given guidance on the type of food they should be serving. He also accused academies of making money from vending machines packed with 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 has insisted that academies should not be covered by the national rules because their headteachers can be trusted to deliver the best for their pupils.

The Department for Education said the Education Secretary asked the School Food Trust to carry out a survey of food standards in new academies last autumn, according to The Observer. A department 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."

More national news stories

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:00am Sun 22 Apr 12

egghead65 says...

get a life jamie.just spend spend spend you rich lucky bugger
get a life jamie.just spend spend spend you rich lucky bugger egghead65
  • Score: 0

10:00am Sun 22 Apr 12

egghead65 says...

get a life jamie.just spend spend spend you rich lucky bugger
get a life jamie.just spend spend spend you rich lucky bugger egghead65
  • Score: 0

11:23am Sun 22 Apr 12

The Cater Wood Creeper says...

a lot of kids wouldn't know a decently cooked nutritious meal if it came up with a big flag saying 'nutritious meal' on it, they're far too used to eating crap food and living on pop and crisps.

Educate the masses.
a lot of kids wouldn't know a decently cooked nutritious meal if it came up with a big flag saying 'nutritious meal' on it, they're far too used to eating crap food and living on pop and crisps. Educate the masses. The Cater Wood Creeper
  • Score: 0
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree