Monday, May 23, 2022
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Education chief snubs Jamie’s School Meals

Glen Rodger said it was not right to police children's lunch boxes, despite healthy eating campaigning by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver (Picture by really short)

A SCOTTISH education chief has snubbed Jamie Oliver by declaring his staff will not “police” schoolchildren’s lunch boxes.

Glenn Rodger said checking pupils’ lunches for crisps, fizzy drinks and chocolate risked “alienating” youngsters.

Mr Rodger, the director of education at Scottish Borders Council, said: “When it comes to packed lunches being brought into schools we cannot act as the food police.

“There is a danger you would alienate yourself from the very groups of people you want to work with.”

He added: “We try to educate people towards having a healthy lunch.”

Mr Rodger added that if a specific incident arose, such as staff noticing a child was consuming a lot of fizzy drinks at lunchtimes, then staff may consider discussing the matter with parents.


Jamie Oliver has campaigned for better food to be served up in schools across the UK. But some youngsters are turning their backs on healthy meals by bringing in packed lunches full of sugary snacks and drinks.

The Scottish Health Survey, produced for the Scottish Government, said it was predicted that obesity rates could reach 40% by 2030, with the cost to the NHS rising to more than £3 billion.

Borders councillor Nicholas Watson said a crackdown was needed despite Mr Rodger’s comments.

He said: “There should be a list of foodstuffs which are not considered acceptable for children to bring to school as part of their packed lunches.

“I know of a number of local authorities in England which already pursue such policies.”

Councillor Watson said schools already had dining room staff on hand to implement such regulations.

“Anyone working in a school dining room will soon come to know which children are the ones regularly having poor packed lunches.

“I am not suggesting this will be down to neglect on the part of parents – it may well be just a matter of education and more information.”

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