The week ending 1st November – School Meals, the Media and Degrees

This week has been one of media interviews amongst other things. In fact one old shipmate who I have not heard from in years sent me a message to say I am on the TV and radio more times than Ant and Dec. And this week it felt like it. However, the reason I was to talk about two main issues; taxis and their use by the council; and free school meals. I have covered the issue of taxis in a previous post.

Recently, the Government announced that from September 2014, all children under eight will be provided with a free school meal. As currently, only those children who meet a certain criteria are eligible for free school meals. The announcement by the Government is to be welcomed. However, as yet, there are no details on the funding. The Council has been told detail will be in the Governments Autumn Spending review, and until then, we know very little.

My concern on this ‘good idea’ is on the funding. Will the funding include costs for new equipment and staffing. I say this as not all of our schools have kitchens or those of suitable size to cope with the increased provision. Will the funding make allowance for extra staff too? I guess we will find out when the Government tells us!

Later in the week I have the pleasure to visit the SPACE project run by Action for Children. SPACE  provide activity schemes for disabled children and young people throughout Cornwall. These include schemes during the school holidays, on Saturdays and regular youth clubs. The aim of the project is to allow local disabled young people to socialise with each other in a secure and caring environment – making new friends and having lots of fun! I certainly had fun as I joined in the mornings activities, got to talk with the young people and staff. I certainly came away impressed with the programme.

Saturday I was invited by Cornwall College to the afternoon Graduation Ceremony held at Truro cathedral. This year the College put on three ceremonies; which is a testament to the College, its staff and the students for its Higher Education programme. It was great to see so many students being awarded their Degrees. It just shows the how the Higher Education programme in Cornwall is thriving.

Lastly, it was great to be tweeted by the United Nations for helping to celebrate UN Day. It is not often you get tweet by an international organisation saying thank you.



One comment

  • Gill Martin

    I disagree that giving all children under the age of 8, free school meals, regardless of household income is a good idea. It is ridiculous that my daughter’s children could benefit from this and yet my daughter whose household income exceeds £50,000 a year, can well afford to pay for her children’s school meals and probably all the neighbours children as well. Would it not make more sense to allocate free school meals to all children up the age of 11 for those families on a lower income.

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