City puts health first

13th May 2005 at 01:00
Hull has become the first local authority to offer free meals and free fruit to all its primary pupils.

The move is believed to be the country's most ambitious plan for healthy eating in schools and adds an estimated pound;4 million to the authority's food bills next year.

It comes in response to health fears in the deprived city of 250,000 people. Levels of type 2 diabetes associated with poor diet were the highest in Britain, data analysts Experian said last year.

But for the past year, primary and special schools have had the opportunity to provide free, healthier breakfasts, lunches and after-school snacks for all pupils.

The decision needed special dispensation from the Department for Education and Skills, because schools have a legal duty to charge for meals.

The appearance of potato smiley faces on the sample menu suggests that processed food has not been entirely removed. But where Jamie Oliver struggled to persuade pupils to eat his healthier meals, Hull has seen an 80 per cent increase in take-up, vindicating the initial investment of pound;1.6 million in the first year.

The "Eat Well, Do Well" scheme has been extended this month to provide free fruit to all primary pupils.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today