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How much does the government allocate for school dinners?

(14 Posts)
Eleusis Wed 20-Jun-07 09:26:47

I have a meeting with the head teacher on Friday to talk about the upcoming school dinners contract, which the borough is alledgedly sorting out on behalf of all the schools in Richmond Borough -- well most of them.

I want to know how much the government contributes per school dinner. Does anyone know?

MrsWobble Wed 20-Jun-07 09:37:09

i wouldn't have thought it contributed anything directly except for those on free school meals. isn't that why parents have to pay for them?

Eleusis Wed 20-Jun-07 09:44:07

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/ar ticle441012.ece

I think it is 50p per pupil per days. And I assumed that meant all pupils. Does it just mean those who are entitled to free meals?

MrsWobble Wed 20-Jun-07 09:45:51

don't know - dh is a primary school governor so i can ask him tonight if that would help

Eleusis Wed 20-Jun-07 09:46:55

Yes, it would help. Mind if I ask what borough you are in?

Ladymuck Wed 20-Jun-07 09:59:13

I think that this is a temporary cash boost (and next year is the final year). The school should get a lump sum of £1,070 plus 50p per full time pupil for primary age. But the money has been given to the LEAs, and it is up to the LEA as to how is get apprortioned. But just to be clear, the money is to be used for sorting out the provision of meals (and in particular reinstating facilities for provision of hot meals)- I think it seems to get thrown around as that that should be the cost of ingredients, but that wasn't the purpose of the cash. There is no obligation to subsidise the cost of school meals expcept for children entitled to free school meals.

Ladymuck Wed 20-Jun-07 10:01:40

And in terms of liaising with the teacher, when the temporary funding was introduced there was a letter to the LEAs which stated "it is the Government’s expectation that local authorities will lead, in partnership with other local stakeholders - particularly parents, schools and health services - the development and implementation of a local strategy to deliver a high quality, sustainable school meals service". So you may wish to enquire how the LeA is partnering with parents.

Eleusis Wed 20-Jun-07 10:13:03

Oh that is good stuff, Ladymuck. What is your source for the quote on the LEA partnering with parents?

This is exactly it. The borough is Richmond Upon Thames. One school (East Sheen) opted out of the borough contract. But the rest have apparently turned it over to the borough to sort out the new contract for them. The currect contract is ending at the end of this term. The new one is a 4 year contract with an option to extend for 2 years. The purpose of my meeting with the head teacher is to ask that the parents of our school be given a role in the decision when the contracts are evaluated.

East Sheen has backed out, so why can't we consider the same if the borough does not provide what we want our kids to eat.

THANK YOU SO MUCH. I can use all the information I can get.

Eleusis Wed 20-Jun-07 10:15:42

Oh, and I'm really interested in this part of your post "the money is to be used for sorting out the provision of meals (and in particular reinstating facilities for provision of hot meals)- ". Where can I find more on this? There are a couple of pieces of equipment which would make the job of on site meal preparation an easier job. So, if this money might be allocated for this purpose then we should be making a request to the borough.

Ladymuck Wed 20-Jun-07 10:48:46

If you look at this item on Teachersnet then it will take you to the letter and also the funding per LEA (Richmond is towards the bottom as it is a smaller LEA).

Eleusis Wed 20-Jun-07 11:33:33

You are a star. Thank you.

So, do I understand this right? The 70p per meal that was promised as a result of Jamie's School Dinners is intented to be spent on seeing that schools can provide hot school dinners. And it is not in any way intended to buy the food.

And does this mean that there are no government funds given to anyone for the meals themselves (except those who qualify for school meals).

Ladymuck Wed 20-Jun-07 12:29:20

What the governement was funding was basically an initiative for schools to get up to date with healthy eating and retrain staff, renegotiate contracts etc. The Goverment doesn't actually pay for the school meals as such - the parents do. Schools can spend £2 on ingredients if they want, but most parents won't pay for the £2 plus the additional staff costs as well (say a total of £3.50 per meal). The school can subsidise if they want, but obviously that means less on books, staff etc. Hence the headache for schools - they have to come up with incredibly cheap healthy food that the kids will eat and the parents will pay for.

MrsWobble Thu 21-Jun-07 12:13:36

i've just typed a long message and lost it. Basically the school gets a budget from the LEA to cover everything - there is no separate hypothecated amount for food.

Our LEA has entered into a long term scolarest deal and the school, as a voluntary aided one, had the choice as to whether to join in or not. They chose to. It is an improvement on the previous deal as meals are now cooked on site and provided take up remains above a certain level an on site cook is guaranteed.

As I understand it the main difference between scolarest and jamie oliver is that scolarest has much more centralised purchasing of ingredients so the unit costs are lower although the produce is not local. The food preparation arrangements seem similar though.

Our governors also insisted on proper china plates rather than the plastic divided trays that were initially provided. This means that pudding is served after the main course and not at the same time and is thought to help table manners.

Hope this is helpful

Eleusis Thu 21-Jun-07 14:42:41

'tis very helpful. Thank you. Ours is also a voluntary aided school with a scolarest contract through the LEA.

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