The number of secondary school children taking school meals has dropped by 250,000 in the past two years.
The Local Authority Caterers Association (LACA) National School Meals Survey have some interesting statistics:
In Primary Schools the number eligible for free school meals has dropped from 17.3% to 15.9% and the uptake from 14.2% to 13.1%.
In Secondary Schools the number eligible for free school meals dropped from 14.4% to 13.1% and the uptake from 10.6% to 9.6%.
The service is under immense pressure and already being seen by many private contractors as a non-viable operation.
LACA’s concern is that this may well be the case too for public sector caterers. It is not inconceivable that local authorities would consider abandoning the [food] service as budgets are unable to sustain the costs involved with the introduction of the New School Food Standards, particularly if Secondary students can continue to obtain, on the way to school and in break times, the food and drink items banned in school.
Why on earth would a school buy a biometric cashless system when clearly this is an area NOT to invest in at present, but manufacturers claims that such systems boost school meal uptake fly in the face of these recent LACA figures.