TV chef Jamie Oliver today accused the Education Secretary Michael Gove of presiding over the “worst yet” standards for school dinners.
Mr Oliver, who has been spearheading a campaign to improve school food for several years, has been at loggerheads with Mr Gove over his decision to exempt academies from tough new nutritional standards for school dinners.
“I have to say this Government, and I'm not getting political, as far as school food is concerned I think is the worst one yet,” he told BBC Radio Two's Breakfast Show.
“Mr Gove has taken away nutritional standards which is something I'm still battling on about. I think it's an abuse of policy you can take away standards from a child's food when mums and dads are busy round the country.
“You've got standards for water in the tap, standards for drivers carrying the kids on the bus, standards for the nurses, standards for the teachers - but the food doesn't matter. It's a shame.”
More than half the secondary schools in England are now academies as are hundreds of primary schools.
Mr Gove has ordered a review of school food to be carried out by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, co-founders of the Leon restaurant chain, and which will report next year. The goal is to establish an action plan for improved food in all schools.
Mr Oliver first became involved in campaigning for improved nutritional standards through his Channel Four TV programme, Jamie's School Dinners, in 2005.