Boarding heads' plea to Gove: 'Let them eat cake'

11th June 2010 at 01:00
An impassioned plea to the new Westminster Government to let their pupils eat treats

State boarding school headteachers have made an impassioned plea to the new Westminster Government to let their pupils eat cake.

They are calling on Education Secretary Michael Gove to make it his "number one priority" to reinstate their right to serve such delicious boarding house staples as Chelsea buns and lemon shortbreads.

The eating of sweet bakery snacks between the hours of 8am and 6pm was banned in state schools by the strict 2007 School Food Regulations.

Any headteacher who does "risk it for a biscuit" and give children an iced finger before dusk could, in theory, end up in court for flouting the healthy-eating rules.

Boarding schools claim their traditional mid-afternoon snacks and even teatimes are marred by healthy-eating legislation.

Heads say the rules are inappropriate for the country's 35 state boarding schools, which includes St Brigid's School in Denbigh, north Wales.

Melvyn Roffe, head of Wymondham College in Norfolk, and vice chair of the Boarding Schools' Association, said the new education secretary should make it his priority to address the problem.

He said the "absurd" oversight had created a running joke in boarding school circles, but it was illustrative of wider problems with over- regulation in schools. The rules do not apply in independent boarding schools.

Paul Spencer Ellis, head teacher of the Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Reigate, Surrey, added: "The whole logic is that the regulations are for a day school where the parents aren't going to feed them properly at home, but in a boarding school we do all their meals.

"But as it stands, they come into the boarding house after school and they want to grab some carbs, and it's illegal. It's illegal for me to give them a sticky bun."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now