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School kitchens left out of new buildings

School dinners will be put at risk by new premises regulations that no longer require schools to have proper kitchens and canteens, say campaigners.

The previous regulations demanded that schools provide buildings that "allow for the preparation or serving of food and drinks and the washing of crockery and other utensils". They also said schools should consider providing "adequate facilities" such as cold storage for food that pupils bring to school. The new premises rules make no mention of these requirements.

The Children's Food Trust says it is disappointed that the rules have been watered down. A Children's Food Trust (CFT) spokesman said: "We know from our research that in places where more schools have the facilities to cook from scratch, more children tend to take up school meals and young people themselves tell us that where they eat is actually more important to them than what they eat. So if we want more pupils to be eating well during the school day, we need to support good kitchens and dining areas."

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "Recent statistics show 99% of secondary and 73% of primaries have their own kitchens, an increase since last year. Our independent review of school food will examine how schools can do more to ensure children eat a healthy school meal. We will look carefully at the recommendations once their work is complete."

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