Nick Clegg’s free school meals scheme “just wasn’t thought through properly”, said the vice-president of the National Association of Head Teachers. The NAHT’s Gail Larkin said the “policy was a nice soundbite and took us all by surprise – it just wasn’t thought through properly. One school that has been trialling this has had to start lunches at 11am and finish at 2pm – it’s ridiculous.”
The Deputy Prime Minister has been forced to abandon plans to guarantee that all 1.5m meals would be hot, with guidelines now permitting schools to offer cold lunches as long as they come up to nutritional standards. Headteachers have also criticised official advice suggesting the implementation of a pre-ordering system with children choosing their meals two hours prior to lunchtime.
Olly from PSI: TheLib Dems will be concerned that this criticism is undermining what they hoped would be a very popular policy.