Second to None
VHS Colour Sound 1988 25:00
Summary: Film on the Haringey School Meals Service and the role of diet in improving children's health.
Title number: 2211
LSA ID: LSA/2892
Description: Film on the Haringey School Meals Service and the role of diet in improving children's health, evidently made as a form of resistance to Conservative government plans to outsource school meal provision. The film features comment from Isobel Cole-Hamilton of the London Food Commission, Geoff Martin a Labour Councillor for Merton, Caroline Hodge the Deputy Head Teacher of White Hart Lane School and David Jones the Head teacher of Coleridge Junior School in Haringey, as well as schoolchildren and school dinner ladies. Isobel Cole-Hamilton talks about the poor diet of many teenagers today who eat lots of chips and biscuits and generally consume food which is high in fat and low in nutrients, she also notes the health problems that this can cause now and in the future, including poor skin, lethargy and obesity. She relates this to the abolishment of free school meals for all and the nutritional guidelines for school meals in 1980. Teenagers on the street are questioned about school meals and what they like to eat, they express a preference for eating fast food outside of school at lunchtime. Southwark Public Health Laboratory make a nutritional analysis of three meals commonly eaten by schoolchildren in Haringey, sausage and chips, a doner kebab (both from fast food outlets) and a vegetarian meal prepared by Haringey School Meals Service. While the food from the Haringey School Meals Service is found to be well balanced, the other two are confirmed as being below the recommended daily allowance of nutrients and calories. Councillor Geoff Martin in Merton, where school meals have been outsourced, reveals that take-up of school meals had fallen, and that the private service had low staffing and made meals without fresh food that were too expensive for pupils. Deputy Head Teacher Caroline Hodge expresses that parents want their children to remain on the school site at lunchtimes and good facilities provided by a School Meals Service encourage this. David Jones, Head Teacher at Coleridge Junior School talks about how the School Meals Service caters for vegetarian and Halal diets, and how teachers sit and eat with the children at meal times. Some dinner ladies talk about how the meals they make now feature less chips and more vegetables. At a special tasting session of new meals being supplied by Haringey School Meals Service parents get the change to try out the food. The parents talk about their children's preferences for junk food but appreciate the variety and ethnic foods supplied by the service.
Credits: director: Andrew Bethell
Keywords: Children (age group); School meals
In galleries: London’s Key Workers
Locations: United Kingdom; England; London; Haringey; Tottenham; Merton; Southwark