Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
Education directors have called on the government to agree with school meal providers how food can be improved....
Education directors have called on the government to agree with school meal providers how food can be improved.

With celebrity chef Jamie Oliver having challenged politicians to ensure children receive nutritious meals, many education departments are finding inflexible long-term catering contracts prevent them from improving menus.

Chris Waterman, chief executive of the Confederation of Education & Children's Services Managers, said: 'Confed has called for the Department for Education & Skills to open talks with the providers of school meals, rather than 450 schools [tied in to long-term PFIs] each trying to unpick the contract.'

The problem is at its most acute where schools are in 25-year private finance initiative contracts. Most PFI companies have subcontracted meal provision, further complicating the issue.

Councils not involved in PFI deals still face the problem of adapting their contracts, which typically last four years.

Lesley Potter, communications director of Scolarest, one of Britain's biggest school meal providers, insisted contracts could be easily adapted.

'Whether it's an LEA contract, a PFI contract or an individual contract with a school, we believe we have the flexibility to deliver the service as we and the client want.'

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.