Leading Article: School meals may give us reason to celebrate, but not quite yet
Thursday 01 April 2010
It is good to know that Jamie Oliver's school meals not only taste better but are producing better-performing children in Greenwich, the local authority where he introduced his culinary revolution. Pupils' Sats results at the age of 11 improved after they switched from "turkey twizzlers" and chicken dinosaurs to creamy coconut fish and Mexican bean wraps. The number of "authorised absences" also fell.
But before we fall over ourselves to congratulate the celebrity chef on achieving what any mother knows to be common sense, we should probably wait for further research into the effect of a good square meal on the nation's pupil population as a whole. Nutritional standards were introduced to all schools in England after the pilot in the south-east London borough and were updated in 2008.
If it is shown that proper food has raised educational standards nationwide, we really will have cause to celebrate.
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