Wiltshire - Meal rules hiccup worries heads

31st July 2009 at 01:00

Wiltshire teachers are pleading for government cash to improve their "inadequate" school kitchens and dining facilities.

Councillors will also tell the School Food Trust they are concerned that new nutritional standards are too demanding, especially for small rural primaries.

Local headteachers say the strict rules could affect their existing catering contracts.

A school food strategy task group set up in the wake of new government rules on nutritional standards and cookery lessons will examine the impact of the changes on the county.

It had previously recommended more funding and support for teachers and school staff.

Wiltshire was given Pounds 1.6 million by the Department for Children, Schools and Families to develop school kitchens, but the local council cannot find any extra cash.

A report by the school food task group for Wiltshire warned that, despite this investment, "a number of schools in the county will still lack adequate facilities to provide the standard of school meals required".

"The challenges still facing a number of schools include outdated equipment, poor flooring, gas and ventilation problems and asbestos," it said.

The report added that these challenges and risks could prove a disincentive to schools to continue providing a meals service.

However, further funding may come via the Building Schools for the Future scheme. KM.

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