Magazine article Public Finance

Better School Meals Need More Trained Staff, Says Unison

Magazine article Public Finance

Better School Meals Need More Trained Staff, Says Unison

Article excerpt

The catering workforce in schools needs to be massively expanded if schoolchildren are to be given healthy and nutritious meals, Unison said this week.

Christina McAnea, head of education services at the public sector union, said school kitchen staff should not have to rely on pre-prepared and processed ingredients.

'The staff have been doing their best with the resources and time available but we want them to be given the time to cook meals from scratch. This can only be done by increasing the hours they work and employing more people,' she said.

McAnea added that money alone was not enough to improve the guality of school food. 'We need to have a properly planned workforce that has access to training and follows a minimum set of national standards,' she said.

At Unison's school meals conference on June 1, Education Secretary Ruth Kelly stressed that improving the quality of school meals was a wider part of the government's child welfare agenda. …

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