The number of pupils opting for a hot school lunch has dropped in one South London borough, following a 14% price increase.
Lewisham Council increased the price of meals in the borough’s primary schools by 20p a day to £1.60 in April.
The council said it could make £40,000 less than expected, after some parents chose not to pay for school meals after the rise.
The council blamed the drop on “a combination of the wider economic factors and the recent price increases.”
The number of children tucking into school meals increased across the UK after chef Jamie Oliver’s 2005 series Jamie’s School Dinners. In 2008 and 2009 strict nutritional guidelines were made compulsory in schools.
However, yesterday Jamie accused the government of putting the changes at risk. Education Secretary Michael Gove has scrapped a school lunch grant and exempted academies from nutritional standards.
School meals are also causing controversy across the channel. French vegetarian group L214 were protesting in Paris yesterday against new legal requirements which they say effectively imposes meat-eating on six million schoolkids.
Under the new law, French school canteens must follow minimum nutritional requirements, stating that on a 20-meal cycle, a minimum of four meals must include “quality meat”.