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LACA/ParentPay school meals report

16 November 2012 by
LACA/ParentPay school meals report

Following last week's publication of the LACA/ParentPay report on school meals and daily lifestyles for 2012, we look at more of the findings. Neil Gerrard reports

The news prompted celebrity chef and restaurateur Jamie Oliver to renew his call for a universal set of standards. "It's blatantly clear from the outcome of the LACA/ParentPay survey - which is a direct representation of what busy parents in this day and age actually think - what a humungous impact health has on our lives. I just hope that they show the results to Mr Gove education secretary] and that he does something positive with the data," Oliver said.

Anne Bull, LACA national chair, said: "Over 1,000 more parents took the time and trouble to respond to this year's survey, compared with last year. This increase gives a significant indication of the level of importance parents place on both their children's health and wellbeing and the provision of healthy, nutritious food in their children's schools.

"There was almost unanimous agreement on many key questions. Parents are clear they do not want to see support for their school catering services being undermined by any lack of financial or policy support. They are sending out a clear message about their future expectations for school food provision."

FOOD EDUCATION

98% of parents wanted their child to learn to cook at school, and wanted them to learn where food comes from and when food is in season
93.4% wanted children to have the opportunity to grow food in the school garden SPEND

£2.00 Average amount paid for a school meal in 2012

Less than £1.70 2.7%
£1.70-£1.80 2.9%
£1.80-£1.90 11.5%
£1.90-£2.00 13.7%
£2.00-£2.10 39.9%
Over £2.10 29.2%

NUTRITIONAL STANDARDS

41.1% of parents said their child's school was meeting the Government's nutritional standards
57.2% did not know whether their child's school was meeting the Government's Nutritional Standards so could not answer the question fully

SATISFACTION

90.7% of parents were very happy or happy with the school meals provider at their children's school
87.4% said the value for money was either good or OK, which was the same level as last year

FREE MEALS

4.9% of those entitled to a free meal did not take up their entitlement
13.3% did not have a free meal five days a week
37.6% of parents said they did not get enough information about school meals

ONLINE

81.7% of parents wanted to pay for a school meal online, with 74.7% saying it was more convenient
62.3% highlighted that online payment meant money had to be spent on a school meal
43.2% said that using online payment meant there was less risk of bullying to their child

CONSUMPTION

6.2% of children left for school without breakfast
Weekly chip consumption was up slightly from 1.34 times a week in 2011 to 1.41 times in 2012
Portions of fruit and vegetables eaten were 3.3 a day, up from 3.25 in the previous year
The number of glasses of drinking water consumed rose from just under 3 to 3.3 a day

By Neil Gerrard

E-mail your comments to Neil Gerrard here.

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