Skip to main content

School meals

I went to visit some primary schools in Oxfordshire earlier this week.  My primary school was very different to those I visited this week.  My school was an old Victoria building where the youngest children joined the school on the ground floor and the older you got the higher your progressed up the building.  Each floor had separate classrooms and its own large assembly hall.  In contrast the schools in Oxfordshire were all largely open plan with two or even three classes in one (large) room.  Also noticeable was the small size of the school halls and the number of them.  As I say, my primary school had four assembly halls, three of which were large enough to fit the whole school for the dreaded whole-school assembly.  This was a useful feature as the first floor assembly hall was used daily by the whole school as the lunch hall.

Noticing that the schools had just one small assembly hall each we posed the question, "where do the children luncheon?" (Obviously, I didn't actually phrase it like that but I'm trying to sound posh).  The answer shocked me.  It seems that the children take their lunch at their desks, which as an adult I am always being told is a bad thing in the work place.  It also raised the question as to how the kids get their food before it goes cold.  Now that turned out to be less of a problem because it turns out schools no longer feed children proper food.

The children all get sandwiches for lunch and the old school kitchens have been converted into classrooms and offices.  This is a problem for a couple of reasons.  First, kids who eat a healthy meal at school are more likely to do well and be better behaved in class and, secondly, there are some kids who rely on schools for their only healthy meal of the day - an extreme example is Daniel Polka who was so tragically let down by adults all around him.

Nick Clegg has (after 3-years as DPM) decided to do something about it.  From next year Reception and KS1 kids will get a proper cooked meal.  However, since none of the schools have kitchens the only way this can be done realistically is to buy the food in from an outside contractor and, let's face it, the quality is likely to be poor.

At the same time, one of the head teachers I met with had an appointment with another solicitor after me.  The other solicitor was interested in selling the services of his firm to the school.  I'm reliably informed that the retainer for this firm will be £25,000 per year followed by hourly rates.  I told the head that if he doesn't know how to run a school without a lawyer watching over him he should quit and if he does know how to run a school he should spend his money on something more useful!  I'm 100% certain that if he requires legal advice in the future the firm in question will give it at their hourly rate without the expensive retainer and the money saved can be put into things that benefit the children.

There's no great point to this post, merely a small effort to raise awareness that the problems with school meals go far beyond the turkey twizzler saga of a few years ago.

I hope this makes sense and that I can be forgiven for not proof reading it as it's now 1am and it's time for me to meander up the wooden path to Bedfordshire.  Good night.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ched Evans

Before I begin, I will say that at around 4,500 words this is probably the longest blog I’ve ever posted but I think it’s all necessary to set the scene for this case and explain the background that has been largely ignored or airbrushed in the press. Despite its length, I have not attempted to include every little detail of either fact or law but have done my best to provide a balanced picture of the Ched Evans case, what happened and why the courts reached the decisions they did. There has been so much written about the Ched Evans case over the past weekend, much of it based on a very shaky grasp of the facts and law, that I decided I would read up about the case and weigh in (hopefully on a slightly firmer footing than most of the articles I’ve read so far).

Broadly speaking there seem to be three groups who have opinions on the case:
1.Sexual violence groups (including people describing themselves as “radical feminists”) who appear to take the view that the case is awful, the Court o…

How do the police decide whether to charge a suspect?

A question I’m often asked by clients (and in a roundabout way by people arriving at this blog using searches that ask the question in a variety of ways), is “how do the police decide whether to charge or take no further action (NFA)?”
What are the options?
Let’s have a quick think about what options are available to the police at the end of an investigation.
First, they can charge or report you for summons to attend court.  Charging means that you are given police bail and are required to attend court in person.  A summons is an order from the court for you to attend or for you to send a solicitor on your behalf.  In many cases where a person is summonsed, the court will allow you the option of entering a plea by post.
Second, you may be given a caution.  These can be a simple caution, which on the face of it is a warning not to be naughty in future, or it can be a conditional caution.  Conditions could include a requirement to pay for the cost of damage or compensation, etc.  Either…

Bid to prevent defendants knowing who accuses them of a crime

When I read The Trial by Kafka and Nineteen Eighty-Four by Orwell, I took them as warnings of how a bad justice system wrecks lives of those caught up in it. Sadly, some Members of Parliament and the House of Lords seem to view the books more as a guide to how they would like our Criminal Justice System to run. Today, I read of plans to hide the names of accusers and witnesses from defendants in a large number of cases. Victims of sexual offences, such as rape, have had the right to lifelong anonymity for many years now. This means that it is a criminal offence to publish information that will lead to a complainant being identified. A Bill currently being considered by Parliament would extend that anonymity to bar defendants and their lawyers knowing the name of the person accusing them. This would apply not only in sexual offences, as has been reported in the press, but also in violent offences.
The anonymity currently offered to victims of sexual offences is not total, the complainant…