15 Jul '14

News Schools' kitchen nightmare as free meals deadline approaches

From September all infants are eligible for free school meals, but with weeks to go many schools are still struggling to be readyEmma Payne, headteacher at St Mary Redcliffe primary in Bristol, is gazing quizzically at a wooden shed that stands just behind her school kitchen. The shed is on its way out, and in its place there will very soon, she hopes be a new extension. The extra space will allow more dinners to be cooked from scratch on-site from September, when primary schools must start to deliver the government's universal infant free school meals policy.However, it's two and a half weeks before the end of term, and not a single order has yet been placed by Bristol city council for the kitchen equipment needed, or the conservatory-style building that will house it. A glazed extension might be a bit of a, well, warm choice for a kitchen, I venture. "It's the cheapest and quickest way they can put it up," says site manager Chris Parkes. "They're putting extra ventilation in. I think it will be very hot." Continue reading...

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