The Caterer
Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Jamie Oliver says UK school kitchens lack proper facilities

29 September 2008 by

Jamie Oliver has claimed that more than half of the UK's school kitchens lack proper facilities and should be shut down.

Blaming a lack of Government cash, the celebrity chef and campaigner said a "personal survey" had convinced him that kitchens in six out of 10 schools would be condemned if they were not controlled by local councils.

In an interview with Sky News, Oliver said problems highlighted three years ago in his Jamie's School Dinners TV series remain unaddressed and while some funding had arrived it was simply "not enough" to solve the issues of poor facilities and staff training.

"From a personal survey I'd say probably six out of 10 kitchens would be condemned if the councils weren't running them themselves," Oliver said. "There's old kit, ovens that are 20 or 30 years old. We've had the money but it's just not enough."

Oliver claimed that some of the problems faced by schools were caused by cabinet reshuffles, saying he that if he changed staff in his restaurants as often as the Government, he would go out of business.

"If I changed my head chef every year for the last four years like we changed our head of education I'd be bankrupt," he said.

"Is it a good idea that I have been doing school dinners for four or five years and have known four heads of education department? Is that a good thing for all those layers of departments and the teachers out there? I don't think so."

Oliver's initial campaign led to the introduction of new food standards for school meals, but uptake has bombed to its lowest ever level at secondary level leading to warnings that the service is "close to collapse".

Read more news and analysis on school meals here >>

School meals system close to collapse >>

Ofsted report shows school meal uptake falls >>

Crisis in school kitchens? >>

School dinner uptake at England secondary schools drops >>

Jamie Oliver named most iconic British chef >>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.

The Caterer Blog](http://www.caterersearch.com/blogs/catering-news-blog/) Catch up with more news and gossip on the Caterer Blog here
[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

close

Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking