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Authorities disagree over £220m school meals cash

09 June 2005

Local Authority Caterers Association (LACA) chairman Neil Porter has admitted the School Meals Trust cannot agree on how to spend the Government's £220m cash injection. While all sides agree on where funds are needed, they cannot decide how to slice up the cake.

"There has been some discussion on the finer details," said Porter, "but difficulties arise when different stakeholders are pushing for different things."

The trust has to hammer out a final plan in the next few weeks, which it will send to schools and local education authorities before the summer break.

Porter identified three key areas that LACA believes are in need of more cash. First, it wants better training for dinner ladies and is ironing out details of an education package. It's also pushing for every new school to have a kitchen, and wants increased ingredient spend per head to filter down to the plate.

Porter added that it should be Ofsted's responsibility to ensure schools spend their allocated money on ingredients, while he believed the School Meals Trust should certify that local authorities allot the right amounts of cash.

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