Oliver slams Gove for junking healthy school dinners

Flagship academy schools to be exempt from nutritional rules set up after chef's campaign

Jamie Oliver thought he had purged schools of vending machines packed with sweets and fizzy drinks.

But he has accused the Education Secretary Michael Gove of undoing his good work by allowing unhealthy food back in schools.

Oliver attacked Mr Gove after the Government decided to allow its flagship academy schools to be exempt from strict new nutritional standards introduced for all schools two years ago.

The television chef told the BBC yesterday that Mr Gove was eroding the standards set up after "a good bit of work" introduced under the last government. "His view is that we should let schools do what they want," he added.

The move could see the return of the sausage roll and confectionery in school vending machines, according to the Local Authority Catering Association, which provides food to thousands of schools. Its spokeswoman Linda Mitchell said it was being asked to "bring back some unhealthy food" into schools. "They [caterers] are being asked to put [in] confectionery and other snacks," she said. "It is a return to the sausage roll to school. It is a very short step before you will see the introduction of sweets and fizzy drinks back in these areas." The celebrity chef launched a high-profile campaign to improve school dinners through his programme Jamie's School Dinners six years ago.

It culminated with a petition to No 10 demanding better nutritional standards in schools. The petition was received by the then Prime Minister Tony Blair, who immediately announced a £300m boost to providing school meals. It was later followed by legislation introducing minimum standards in schools which insisted on more fruit and vegetables on the menu and a reduction in fatty foods so that chips would be served on limited occasions.

The move was not universally popular and parents passed chips and burgers to their children through school railings in Rotherham. A spokesman for the Department for Education said it trusted schools to serve meals that were in the best interests of children.

In a letter to Oliver earlier this year, Mr Gove wrote: "I would like to reassure you we have no reason to believe that academies will not provide healthy balanced meals which meet current nutritional standards."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

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 General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...