£850,000 to expand and improve primary school kitchens in Cornwall

Falmouth Packet: £850,000 to expand and improve primary school kitchens in Cornwall £850,000 to expand and improve primary school kitchens in Cornwall

Cornwall has been allocated almost £850,000 to expand kitchen and dining facilities in primary schools.

The funds are part of the Government’s initiative to provide free schools meals for all infants from September 2014.

Andrew Wallis, the council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said that this would help ensure that every child in reception and years one and two in Cornwall receive a healthy meal during the day.

“This is good news for children and parents in Cornwall” he said. “Research shows that children who have a healthy meal at lunchtime are more alert and do better at school. We know that many parents and carers in Cornwall are struggling to cope with the pressures on their household budgets and providing their children with free school meals will help put money back into their pockets. “

There are 236 primary schools in Cornwall, of which four fifths have working kitchens. The remaining fifth of primary schools currently have serveries, ie where meals are brought in from another school / kitchen.

A detailed survey of existing facilities in local authority maintained schools will need to be carried out in January to identify where expansion or new kitchens may need to be provided to cope with the anticipated increase in numbers of children requiring a school lunch.

“The September 2014 deadline for the scheme to come into operation gives us a challenging deadline as the works will have to be carried out while schools are closed” said Sharon Hindley from Cornwall Council. “However the Local authority will work closely with headteachers and governors to support schools to be ready for September 2014.”

Comments (7)

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7:53pm Sat 21 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

Whilst providing free meals for all children up to the age of eight maybe beneficial for those parents on low income, I believe the availability should be accorded by means testing. I do not hold with a supposed theory that unless offered to all, regardless of household income, some of those whose income would genuinely cause hardship to pay may not take up the offer of free meals, I believe it ludicrous that my daughter whose household income exceeds £50,000 per year will benefit from free school meals for her children for which she could well afford to pay.

The money being allocated by the government to expand kitchen and dining facilities in primary schools, in order to cope with the proposed extra children having school meals, is all very well, however, what happens if they move on to senior school only to find the school in a state of disrepair and/or lacking in facilities, as is the case I believe with Helston Community College, because Cornwall Council claim money is limited for maintenance.
I believe the government should prioritise funding for maintenance.
Whilst providing free meals for all children up to the age of eight maybe beneficial for those parents on low income, I believe the availability should be accorded by means testing. I do not hold with a supposed theory that unless offered to all, regardless of household income, some of those whose income would genuinely cause hardship to pay may not take up the offer of free meals, I believe it ludicrous that my daughter whose household income exceeds £50,000 per year will benefit from free school meals for her children for which she could well afford to pay. The money being allocated by the government to expand kitchen and dining facilities in primary schools, in order to cope with the proposed extra children having school meals, is all very well, however, what happens if they move on to senior school only to find the school in a state of disrepair and/or lacking in facilities, as is the case I believe with Helston Community College, because Cornwall Council claim money is limited for maintenance. I believe the government should prioritise funding for maintenance. Gillian Zella Martin 09

2:44pm Sun 22 Dec 13

Rainbow over Helston says...

So what happens during school holidays then, is it back to the food bank! I dont think this is the answer to genuine hardship, whats the point giving to those who can afford to pay, are they going to pay benefits to everyone whatever their income just so those who need to claim do so and dont feel bad about it.
So what happens during school holidays then, is it back to the food bank! I dont think this is the answer to genuine hardship, whats the point giving to those who can afford to pay, are they going to pay benefits to everyone whatever their income just so those who need to claim do so and dont feel bad about it. Rainbow over Helston

3:47pm Sun 22 Dec 13

Rainbow over Helston says...

By the way I have 5 children and am off on holiday with the money I save on school meals for the little ones, thanks coalition government, you have my vote next time.
By the way I have 5 children and am off on holiday with the money I save on school meals for the little ones, thanks coalition government, you have my vote next time. Rainbow over Helston

8:14am Mon 23 Dec 13

DCI Jen says...

I have two children that could benefit from this government initiative, my household income is about £55,000, I don't need this money to feed my children, as it happens my children don't have or like school dinners and will not start having them just because they are free. We have our cooked meal in the evening and next thing you know the government could be moaning some children are obese because they are having two cooked meals and deserts a day. How does this help all those low income families with older children, some of which rely on food banks, while they go without, some families on high income will be benefitting from free school meals for young children thus giving the parents spare money they don't need. I don't think this government thinks anything through properly. Every other benefit is allocated according to income so why not free school meals. I don't think anyone would not claim benefits because of pride these days, so to say unless meals are offered free to all young children some people might not claim them because of pride I think is wrong. Perhaps the government should think about the pride of those forced to rely on food banks. What about children that win scholarships, children have to grow up learning that not everyone has the same income and some people may need help and others don't.
I agree with Gill, priority should be on maintaining schools for all children not using money to single out help for a category of people in which many affluent people will benefit.
I have two children that could benefit from this government initiative, my household income is about £55,000, I don't need this money to feed my children, as it happens my children don't have or like school dinners and will not start having them just because they are free. We have our cooked meal in the evening and next thing you know the government could be moaning some children are obese because they are having two cooked meals and deserts a day. How does this help all those low income families with older children, some of which rely on food banks, while they go without, some families on high income will be benefitting from free school meals for young children thus giving the parents spare money they don't need. I don't think this government thinks anything through properly. Every other benefit is allocated according to income so why not free school meals. I don't think anyone would not claim benefits because of pride these days, so to say unless meals are offered free to all young children some people might not claim them because of pride I think is wrong. Perhaps the government should think about the pride of those forced to rely on food banks. What about children that win scholarships, children have to grow up learning that not everyone has the same income and some people may need help and others don't. I agree with Gill, priority should be on maintaining schools for all children not using money to single out help for a category of people in which many affluent people will benefit. DCI Jen

10:20am Tue 24 Dec 13

CousinJack says...

Means testing costs money, so perhaps the cost benefit analysis showed it was cheaper to provide free meals to all.

I expect that lower class children will not avail of this in any case, not enough chips and too many vegetable for their taste.
I also expect that middle class parent will extract snob value from their packed lunches.

But this is the UK and we have one of the lowest social mobility rates in the OECD (thanks in large part to labour government scrapping grammar schools and entrance exams)

Happy Christmas to one and all
Means testing costs money, so perhaps the cost benefit analysis showed it was cheaper to provide free meals to all. I expect that lower class children will not avail of this in any case, not enough chips and too many vegetable for their taste. I also expect that middle class parent will extract snob value from their packed lunches. But this is the UK and we have one of the lowest social mobility rates in the OECD (thanks in large part to labour government scrapping grammar schools and entrance exams) Happy Christmas to one and all CousinJack

11:35am Tue 24 Dec 13

DCI Jen says...

Someone sounds like Wave/Guest01 to me.
Someone sounds like Wave/Guest01 to me. DCI Jen

9:13pm Tue 24 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

CousinJack, you may well be right about the comparative cost between means testing and providing meals to all children up to a certain age. However, I disagree on your OECD comment, the UK I believe, scores above average in certain categories, in addition to which, the data as far as I remember only spans to 2012, a lot could have changed in a year.

I personally believe it is a little unfair of you to categorise children into class groups and to generalise as to what they would and would not likely eat, I additionally disagree with your perception of some parents attitudes towards packed lunches.

Only time will tell I suppose, as to how successful the scheme is.
CousinJack, you may well be right about the comparative cost between means testing and providing meals to all children up to a certain age. However, I disagree on your OECD comment, the UK I believe, scores above average in certain categories, in addition to which, the data as far as I remember only spans to 2012, a lot could have changed in a year. I personally believe it is a little unfair of you to categorise children into class groups and to generalise as to what they would and would not likely eat, I additionally disagree with your perception of some parents attitudes towards packed lunches. Only time will tell I suppose, as to how successful the scheme is. Gillian Zella Martin 09

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