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Three More Schools Get Hot Meals

Three more Jersey primary schools are now able to offer school meals.

Plat Douet, Grands Vaux and Springfield schools have been added to the programme which offers hot lunches to their pupils.

By April 2024, five more schools will join the programme.

Education Minister Deputy Inna Gardiner says the government is on track to have extended meals to all primary schools by next September.

"All of the schools that were built without kitchens or facilities to serve hot meals need adjustments. In some schools it's easier than others, but architects and my team are working together to make sure that it's happening."

It follows a 2019 pilot, launched with local charity Caring Cooks, which enabled five primary schools to receive hot meals and desserts at lunchtime.

The meals cost £2.50, but are free for children who qualify.

As the new academic year gets underway, the Education Minister has also been telling Channel 103 what is being down to make uniforms cheaper.

Deputy Inna Gardiner, has pledged to draw up guidance that will keep the costs of uniforms down from next September

It means parents could see better deals when doing the back-to-school shop next year, after a report from the competition watchdog the JCRA recommended actions for a more competitive market for school clothing.

The study - published in April - found a high proportion of school-wear items are branded and/or compulsory.

Headteachers and the Education Minister were advised to help parents through a better market:

  • The government should consider policy in other places, including the UK.
  • Schools should conduct regular reviews of all contracts and supply arrangements for uniforms.
  • The JCRA should develop more specific guidance on the design and operation of competitive tenders for school uniforms.

Deputy Inna Gardiner says a policy is being developed and will be in place within 12 months.

"Some of the schools have taken proactive action and I've been told about several schools that have gone out to tender, which they have not done for some time, and the school uniform cost was reduced, just because of  this exercise.

Headteachers are looking at (using more) generic items (of clothing).

Work is happening anyway, but we will finalise and bring it together by September 2024."

Deputy Gardiner has also confirmed that measures to mitigate fire risks at Jersey schools have been completed in time for the start of the new academic year.

Issues were found at 15 schools across the island, including 50 serious risks.

The Minister says the work has been completed and all of the schools will be opened as intended.

"All children and young people will be going to their schools as planned.

I would like to reassure parents that all mitigation methods have passed the safety requirements."

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