It has been an indifferent start to the introduction of free hot school meals. As a small Local Authority school without a sizeable kitchen we relied upon Dorset to arrange everything for us. They awarded the contract and dealt with all the negotiations. Unfortunately the company they chose (Chartwells) has not had a great first week. This has mainly been due to their proposed hub premises in Ferndown burning down during the summer so they are in temporary premises in Bovington using a kitchen which evidently cannot cope.
Each day this week we have had issues with the delivery (or non delivery) of food and vital equipment. For instance on Friday we were not delivered enough chips and so we had to go to the chip shop to supplement the amount so that all the children could enjoy their much anticipated fish fingers and chips.
If you have read the local press and watched local TV you may well have noticed that this has been an issue across Poole, Bournemouth and Dorset. After school on Friday we were contacted by Chartwells to let us know that all the pupils in the schools they supply (approx. 12,000 pupils) will be served cold lunches next week (packed lunches) by the company to give them a week to solve their kitchen problems.
Naturally we are very disappointed with this news but fingers crossed that it is one step back to take a giant leap forward. We will keep you updated as and when we receive more news. If you read this over the weekend can you please spread the news to fellow parents so that they can also read it? Thank you.
On the positive side the children have adapted very well to the new routines and lots of them appear to be receiving green stamps.
PS. If anyone sees Nick Clegg MP over the weekend can you ask him to call me so I can have a little chat about the logistics or implementing a major idea in a very short amount of time with little extra money!