Could Eton Mess be off the menu at Eton?

A review of school meals might be extended to private schools as well as academies

The men asked by Michael Gove to review school meals are considering defying the Education Secretary over academies' food standards.

Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, in an interview with The Independent on Sunday, denied it was "rolling pins at dawn" with Jamie Oliver, a staunch critic of Mr Gove over school food, and said they hoped he would back their recommendations when they are launched next spring.

Mr Dimbleby, who was asked by Mr Gove to review school meals after meeting on holiday in Morocco, and Mr Vincent, his co-founder of the healthy fast-food chain Leon, have told the Education Secretary they are looking at including academies and free schools in a new school-food blueprint. The pair told The IoS that even private schools could be included under a simpler framework for healthy food standards – meaning, in theory, that Eton mess could be off the menu at Eton.

Mr Gove provoked controversy last year when he allowed academies and free schools to be exempt from nutritional standards introduced after Jamie Oliver highlighted the poor quality of food served to pupils. He has insisted that the nutritional standards are too restrictive for the semi-independent institutions.

Mr Vincent said the idea of a simpler, less bureaucratic system of healthy eating standards was a "strong hypothesis". Asked whether they could force academies to abide by a new framework, Mr Dimbleby said: "We are certainly not ruling it out. We said to Michael Gove: we understand your view on trying to remove regulation and let people do what they want. But we need to be able to take a view on standards independently and we need that to be in the scope."

Asked if private schools could be included in the recommendations, Mr Vincent said: "I think we have a role to recommend anything we want to. Why not? If you follow the logic, absolutely."

The minister asked Mr Dimbleby, a writer and chef whose father is the broadcaster David Dimbleby, to review school food after a discussion during their Morocco holiday. Mr Dimbleby said: "I've cared about school food, talked about helping it, for a long time. What was I meant to do? Say no? It's complete madness."

Mr Vincent said he had spent "70 per cent of my time" on the school food plan, including spending £8,000 of his own money on travel expenses and, during one school visit, buying a saucepan for its kitchen. "I think that Michael Gove is decent. I think Jamie Oliver is decent … and sometimes there is a tendency for decent people to create strange fights in the media or in this crazy sort of matrix world that we create. And I find it a very challenging job, a very important job, to get over that, to allow these good people to work together."

The Local Authority Catering Association is publishing a survey of parents' and children's views of school meals tomorrow to coincide with National School Meals Week.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Austen Lloyd: Employment Solicitor

£30000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent: Austen Lloyd: Employment Solicitor - Ke...

Ashdown Group: HR Generalist - 2 week contract - £200pd - Immediate start

£200 per day: Ashdown Group: Working within a business that has a high number ...

Randstad Education Cardiff: Maths Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: We are currently recruiting f...

Randstad Education Cardiff: Science Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Science Teacher -Full Time - ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital