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Compass wins £4.5m school dinner contract

08 September 2008 by

A controversial school dinners contract, which has left caterer Elior facing possible legal action, has been awarded to Compass Group.

Compass Group's Scolarest has landed the five-year deal worth £4.5m to feed children at 171 primary and secondary schools across Cornwall.

In July, Elior caused controversy by pulling out of a deal with the local authority just weeks before the start of the new academic term.

Cornwall County Council described the move as "unilateral" at the time and threatened Elior, which had won the contract through its Avenance brand, with legal action.

Despite the awarding of the school meals contract to Scolarest a spokeswoman for Cornwall council confirmed to Caterersearch that the authority was "currently exploring all legal remedies to address the damage caused by the actions of Avenance".

Speaking about the Scolarest award, Brian Higman, the council's executive member for corporate support, said: "Everyone has worked extremely hard to ensure that a school meals service was in place for the beginning of the new term.

"We are very grateful to Scolarest for their enthusiasm and professionalism over the past few weeks."

Elior also confirmed its sales director for education, Roger St John had left the company last month, but stated his departure was unconnected with the Cornwall situation. A spokesman for Elior said the company would be replacing St John.

Jan Matthews, managing director of Avenace's Southern Region and education, retains overarching responsibility for the caterer's education business and is reporting division head Lynn McClelland.

Caterer Elior threatened with legal action over school dinners contract >>

The knowledge: Elior UK >>

Scolarest keeps Oxford Brookes University >>

School meals news round-up>>

By Chris Druce

E-mail your comments to Chris Druce here.

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