Headteacher despairs at ‘unacceptable’ lunches served at his own school

bad meals

A selection of some of the meals served at Redbridge Community School (Picture: Redbridge Community School/PA)

A headteacher has criticised the quality of food served during lunch at his school saying it is ‘completely unacceptable’.

Jason Ashley, head of Redbridge Community School in Southampton, wrote in a message to parents and carers: ‘How difficult is it to bake a potato?’

The school’s dinners are provided by national catering company Chartwells.

Mr Ashley says he has tried to hold talks with the company that have not progressed and he has no control over the food offered to pupils.

He wrote: ‘Frankly, the food that is served in the canteen is completely unacceptable, so much so, that if my own children’s school served this I would be exceptionally unhappy.

‘We have concluded with our photo evidence that Chartwells do seem to be unable to ‘bake a potato’ correctly. Our evidence shows that in recent times portions have gotten smaller, whilst prices have risen.

‘For example, recently it was British ‘pie week’ and the pie served was of extremely poor quality when compared to our partner schools.’

Mr Ashley took issue with other food items also served to teachers including chips and roast dinner.

Jason Ashley has criticised the quality of school lunches at the school (Picture: Redbridge Community School)

The message sent to parents and carers from the headteacher (Picture: Redbridge Community School/PA)

He said he could ‘no longer tolerate, provide reasons or even justify to you the unacceptable nature of the food’.

He added: ‘I hope that you are as angry and as disappointed as me. For those of you that pay from your hard earned wages – I can only apologise and I am sorry.

‘However, nothing I seem to do or say makes any difference and I feel you have the right to know.’

Chartwells said there has been operational problems like staffing challenges.

It said though there has been no changes to portion sizes or an increase in price over the last two years.

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In a statement Chartwells said: ‘We recognise the importance of school meals, and our teams work hard to provide good quality food every day.

‘We apologise that in this instance our usual level of service has fallen below the high standards we demand. We are committed to working in collaboration with the school and are implementing an immediate action plan to rectify these issues.’

It is not the first time the firm has come under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Chartwells came under fire in 2021 after images of scant food parcels, which were supposed to be worth £30 and last for 10 days, began circulating on social media.

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Source:: Metro


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