Working together

Representatives of ‘Merton Parents for Better Food in School’ met with Council Leader Andrew Judge and senior council officers for a frank discussion about school dinners in Merton last week (Wednesday May 18). All agreed to work together to achieve school dinners of the highest attainable quality in every school in the Borough.

Andrew Judge thanked the parents for their campaign which has highlighted
the issue in Merton. He said:

‘There was a lot of goodwill in the meeting and we agreed to work together
in the interests of Merton’s children. I would like to write to every parent in the Borough to ask their views and the Parents agreed to work with the Council on an accompanying questionnaire. There was a real determination to ensure that we have continuing improvement.”

The issues discussed included the quality of food and the freshness of preparation and opportunities for parents to play a role in improving the quality of food received by their children.

Chris Larkman, Chair of the parents’ group, said:

“We came away from the meeting pleased that Councillor Andrew Judge and senior Council Officers recognised the genuine concerns expressed by parents, teachers and school dinner supervisors about the quality of the food currently provided in Merton Schools. We were pleased to learn about recent improvements in some schools and to receive a commitment from the Council to work rapidly to make improvements to both quality and content of the meals provided in all schools.”

Jackie Schneider, Vice Chair of the parents’ group, said:

“Merton parents, three thousand of whom have signed our petition, should be delighted with the outcome of this meeting. Many parents have told us how pleased they are with the excellent work done by Merton schools. We can now aim to have the same levels of satisfaction with tasty, well cooked, healthy lunches eaten off plates in a pleasant atmosphere. Merton could lead the way with its willingness to include health professionals, governors and parents in the drive to improve nutritional standards. We have been overwhelmed with offers of help from, parents, organisations such as The Soil Association and individuals from Jamie Oliver’s team.”