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back to article Council chief overrules blackout on Scots 9-yr-old's school lunch blog!

An hour after accusing a nine-year-old girl of causing distress with her "inaccurate" lunch blog, the Argyll and Bute council has overturned its cameras-in-the-canteen ban and once again allowed school children the option of photographing their lunch. School Dinner by Glasgow blogger Veg, credit Martha Payne, used with …

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FAIL

£2 a day

I still want to know why the crap being served up is costing £2 a day. The photo showed above is one of the better ones.

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Re: £2 a day

It would be interesting to see where the money goes.

Would people pay a tax / levy / whatever dedicated to improving the quality of school meals? I think I would.

Mind you, it may be that we're only seeing the worst of what is provided - what's the general standard like these days, parents? (Or kids, I suppose, if any are reading).

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Headmaster

Salaries

In a smaller primary school of 100 kids, let's assume 60% take school dinners and the rest packed lunches. Out of the £120 income, you'll have to pay 2 cooks for 6-hours work (3 prep, 1.5 service, 1.5 cleanup), at minimum wage (£6.08) = £72.96. Plus let's assume 3 lunchtime 'supervisors', for 90 mins each = £27.36 gives a total salary cost of £100.32. Leaving exactly 33p per meal for ingredients. For that much money - you get radish and macaroni 'surprise'...

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Re: Salaries

Is that how they do these? I thought they were prepared more centrally and just shipped out and served.

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Re: Salaries

maybe but you still need to pay people to serve the food, clean the pots etc.

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Re: Salaries

"Is that how they do these? I thought they were prepared more centrally and just shipped out and served."

Possibly in cities. Possibly not somewhere as rural as Argyll.

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Happy

Re: £2 a day

Ingredients for a child's lunch cost around a quid for a reasonable one and a bit more for a good one. Another 50p to a pound per day for preparation, serving and other staff costs seems OK.

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Stop

Re: Salaries

Lochgilphead is a joint campus with 750 pupils from nursery to S6.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Salaries

as a general rule of thumb double salary costs to get real staff costs (recruitment, holidays, NI, training etc etc etc)

Look what you get for a £2 gas station bulk manufactured sandwich for a comparison.

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Boffin

Re: £2 a day

In Austrtalia the kids are priveliged to eat Vegemite out of a jar with a spoon for lunch.

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Devil

Re: £2 a day

As an Australian, I have to point out that the spoon is optional

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Paris Hilton

Re: £2 a day

I understand from my two younger daughters (aged 10 and 6) that their school meals are crap. So much so that my eldest daughter has gone onto packed lunches. Taking into consideration the £2 a day it was cosing for school dinners too it's saving us some money and she gets a much better variety of stuff.

I'm not sure if it's just me, but I remember school dinners when I was in Primary school (25 years ago) to be pretty reasonable.

Rob

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So who gets the sack?

Thought so.

If I brought down this kind of condemnation on the people I work for I'd last 5 minutes. If that.

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Re: So who gets the sack?

Never mind sacking, if I encountered anyone mad enough to believe banning the kid from taking photographs of her lunch was going to make this go away I would want them sectioned.

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Re: So who gets the sack?

It's been done.

The top three communications officers at Argyll and Bute council were let go in the springtime. Clearly their replacements haven't been found yet and the PR is being handled by a trained monkey.

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Facepalm

Re: So who gets the sack?

Having a "top" council communications officer seems something like having a "favourite" twatting-your-thumb-with-a-lump-hammer. As far as I can tell, the best you can hope for is that it doesn't cause permanent damage.

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Hurrah!

Cold semolina for all !!!

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Semolina is the one remaining thing that I have never eaten in adulthood as a result of the revolting school meals they tried to force me to eat.

I am sure it must be possible to make it pleasant but frankly I the memory is so horrible I doubt I could even bring myself to lick it off Kelly Brook's norks.

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Take it from a dago

Semolina's great. It's a shame they ruined it for you.

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Anonymous Coward

Somolina

...With a dollop of Jam.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Somolina

Or Semolina, even..

And whoever swapped my E and O keys, just for that minute: Don't do it again!

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TRT
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Linux

Re: Semolina

Semolina is fantastic. My pet hate is fish fingers. Bleurgh! I would not could not will not shall not. Even if I am a penguin. :-/

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With thanks to Ronnie Barker

"Now I'm going to croop away to my little bod, and sed the lot of you..."

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Anonymous Coward

Council in cahoots?

Maybe this 9 yo is cleverer that we all suspected.....

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g e
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Joke

Re: Council in cahoots?

Do you think she might have a den at home with oak-panelled walls, a fluffy cat and a map of the world with blinking lights on it?

** Jealous! **

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Re: Council in cahoots?

If she can convince council officials to make a complete arse of themselves to raise £21k for charity, she's clearly a genius.

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Re: Council in cahoots?

It did occur to me.

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Re: Council in cahoots?

"If she can convince council officials to make a complete arse of themselves to raise £21k for charity, she's clearly a genius."

Well, the ban was implemented by some faceless, nameless official, whereas revoking the bans gets good headlines for the leader so who knows?

At least a local (locally run, global in scope) charity that seems to be pretty bloody awesome is getting a wedge.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Council in cahoots?

"the ban was implemented by some faceless, nameless official, whereas revoking the bans gets good headlines for the leader"

More people need to actually read Machiavelli. Paraphrasing, he recommends "get you underlings to make themselves unpopular, then make yourself popular by punishing them for it".

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Paris Hilton

Re: Council in cahoots?

"If she can convince council officials to make a complete arse of themselves ..."

I was not aware that that was considered a difficult task.

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Re: Council in cahoots?

>I was not aware that that was considered a difficult task.

One council round-by-ere gave itself planning permission on a chunk of land it owned, and then sold it off to a developer. part of the planning process is a purely nominal but legally required pass through the relevant Parish Council. After work started, it was pointed out that they hadn't passed it to the correct parish. Now no-one knows if the planning permission is legal or not.

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Happy

Re: Council in cahoots?

Total's now at 51k since this morning (Saturday).

I think whoever decided the ban was a good idea should be one of the first up against the wall when the Revolution comes.

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jai
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jelly!!!!

i have a real hankering for jelly now

not so much for macaroni and raddishes....

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Re: jelly!!!!

I'll swap you my jelly for your macaroni

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Pint

The Internet still works!

With all the commercial activities going on I think its a very pleasant and different sight to see a mere blog causing an uproar like this. And not only that; but also causing changes in the school policies regarding the cafeteria food.

And all by merely pictures and a story from a 9 year old.

So when the upper brass did what they do best, namely bullying (IMO), the Internet "fought back".

And then all of a sudden people start to realize that they actually opened up Pandora's box.

Gotta love the power of the pen, backed by the Internet!

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Re: The Internet still works!

causing changes in the school policies regarding the cafeteria food

Has it done that? They seemed to indicate they hadn't actually changed anything since the blog had been up (refuting claims to the contrary).

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Happy

Re: The Internet still works!

Take a look at the pictures she took. The first few showed some pretty woeful meals, the later ones looked pretty OK. Also - note the "special lady in the white coat and hairnet" who was inspecting the food for several days later on.

I'd guess they upped their game somewhat in the face of the exposure!

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TRT
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Re: The Internet still works!

I love the one where she forgot her camera, so drew a picture instead. Pure. Genius.

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Trollface

Web outrage == WUTRAGE!

ROW! ROW! FIGHT THE POWER!

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Anonymous Coward

ROW?

What, as in argue, or as in, a boat?

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Re: ROW?

As in doing the impossible and kicking reason to the kerb.

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Alert

Re: The Internet still works!

Mildly interesting to note that, for the villains of the piece (not villeins of the peace), Argyll & Bute Council, an anagram of 'Argyll Bute' is 'Great Bully'...!

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Unhappy

I never thought my school dinners were that great,

but at least they came on separate plates, (i.e. collect main course, then go up for pudding after), and did look edible - well infinitely more edible that that slop. How did it come to this?

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Re: I never thought my school dinners were that great,

I want my dinners to come in the teddy-bear shaped dishes she found. And I don't care than I am a 40-something male. (thats years, not stones).

http://ballibeg.smugmug.com/photos/i-zNTSWjj/0/M/i-zNTSWjj-M.jpg

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I applaud the whole community that has sent a complaint off to the council and has commented and blogged and tweeted.

This shows that the IT sector has a heart of gold. I salute everyone who has commented positively and will happily buy any of you a pint that complained to the council. All of this was achieved without an Anonymous DDOS so even more kudos to us techie types!

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Headmaster

Nutrition sorted. Now for numeracy.

"...over £21k, ..., and almost three times the goal of £7k"

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Good for Martha

She will get better food* (at least until things die down).

The local council made themselves look like fools.

Mary's Meals got a nice boost.

*If you look at the blog it was not always saying bad things about the food, she often gave 9/10. But there were also some really poor 4/10 meals.

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Anonymous Coward

It's been rather interesting to follow development of this "story" since VEG last night blogged about ban.

Her blog page views have jumped from 2 million to now already over 3 million and donations for marys meals gone from £2000 to over £30000 already. Power of the internet...

It was clear Streisand Effect will happen :) And it seems Argyll and Bute managed to get even in wikipedia about it this. Been waiting if that happens today, and it did.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

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Math issues also

"helped it raise over £21k, well over the £2k it had raised as of this morning, and almost three times the goal of £7k"- last time I checked, 21 was three times seven, not almost three.

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Re: Math issues also

Giving the author the benefit of the doubt, we all know that 2+2=5 for large values of 2 (e.g.2.3) and 2+2 = 3 of r small values of 2 (eg.g 1.7). Probably a rounding error in there that' wasn't worth the explanation.

Happily the total earlier was £48k+, so I have no doubt they'll eventually raise enough for 7 kitchens. Good luck to them and if Argyll and Bude want more efficiently priced meals perhaps dedicate some of the school week to horticulture. Every kid should leave school with some practical experience of raising veg.

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