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Ashford pupils taking charge of school meals

Malcolm Ramsey, head teacher of Towers School, Ashford
Malcolm Ramsey, head teacher of Towers School, Ashford

Towers School in Ashford is one of the first schools in the country to meet national standards on nutrition in school meals, four months ahead of government targets.

The Kennington secondary school was one of six schools selected for a pilot scheme, putting students in charge of school meals. Last week it was announced that it had met its targets.

The “Meal Deals” scheme means pupils take part in the development and marketing of their lunchtime menus.

Towers’ pupils took part in focus groups to choose new dishes and launched the new menu through a marketing campaign at the school including posters and newsletters.

Pupils suggested adding traditional roasts, pasta and stir fries to the usual lunchtime offering, and adding fruit juice and water to make the menu healthier.

The menus chosen were then analysed by a nutritionist to ensure they were compliant with the nutrient standards.

Malcolm Ramsey, head teacher at Towers School, pictured above, said: “Getting the students involved with designing and marketing the new school menu has been a great success.

“We now have tasty nutritional food that students really want to eat and there is a real sense of ownership and pride from students in the new menu on offer. The work at Towers shows that the key to improving school meals is to continue listening to both parents and pupils.”

Cllr John Link (Con), who officially opened the launch and renaming of the school dining hall to “Rambo’s Bistro”, said “The Meal Deals Project has been extremely successful at Towers School as it has not only encouraged more students to use the dining facilities but they also now have ownership having been able to choose the name themselves.”

Chair of Governors, Cllr Rita Hawes (Lib Dem), said: “I am proud to be associated with a school where good nutrition and healthy options are recognised as being very important for young people.”

All the options are priced in line with the free school meal allocation of £1.90.

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