Allow schools to decide what meals are best for their children

Allow schools to decide what meals are best for their children

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Phil Sleigh started this petition to SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EDUCATION

The UK Government's advisory body, the Climate Change Committee, has warned that any viable approach for reaching net-zero carbon must include reducing meat consumption. Animal agriculture causes massive environmental damage, in the UK and around the world - if meat consumption is not cut the climate crisis (and the impact on today's children) will be much worse.

Health advisers warn that excessive consumption of meat and dairy is causing major and sometimes fatal health problems - including obesity, cancers, type-2 diabetes and heart disease. They recommend that diets should be improved by reducing meat and dairy, and by increasing healthy plant-based food.

Yet the Requirements for School Food Regulations state that schools in England must provide meat-based meals on at least 3 days each week, and dairy products must be provided every day.

This means that schools wishing to cater better for the children in their care, by providing meals that are less damaging for the environment and for health, have their hands tied by the regulations.

The regulations even mean that a school which wishes to provide plant-based meals for a week, perhaps to tie in with a theme about the environment for their studies, is unable to.

The regulations can also unnecessarily push up the cost of meals - good quality nutritious plant-based meals can be significantly cheaper than meat-based equivalents. Schools don't have the choice to use finances more efficiently in this way.

These centralised regulations also prevent schools making their meals more inclusive. Some religions prohibit certain meats, and some communities have high levels of lactose intolerance. Amending the regulations would allow schools to provide meals that are best suited for sharing by the children in their local area.

The Secretary of State for Education should review these regulations, which impose central control from Westminster, and allow schools to make local decisions about which meals are best for their students.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!