National officer Christine Lewis said:
'We do recognise that better, more nutritional school dinners may cost more to prepare. But this new money should help keep prices down, pay for better-quality ingredients and ensure that there are enough working hours in kitchens so that staff are able to prepare and cook food.
'The network of regional training kitchens should be a major boost to providing news skills or refreshing old ones, but employers should understand the need to release staff in work time to attend courses.
'Unison has long expressed concern that school kitchens have either disappeared or are not fit for cooking from scratch. We are, therefore, pleased that special funding will be targeted at improving premises and that design guidance will be developed. Our school catering staff members will be only too pleased to advise on this development - they are, after, all, the experts in the layout and planning of school kitchens.'
*£80m pa from 2008-2011.