School dinners battered by chip shop

CANTEEN takings are reportedly down at a high school which promotes healthy eating – because older students are finding the lure of a new fish and chip shop nearby irresistible.

CANTEEN takings are reportedly down at a high school which promotes healthy eating - because older students are finding the lure of a new fish and chip shop nearby irresistible.

At a time when celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has put school dinners on the political agenda, Stowupland High School's efforts to promote the healthy option have suffered a slight setback.

The chip shop has just opened near the village green and high school, and its allure is proving too much for many of the 300 students allowed out of school at lunchtime.

Stowupland High offers healthy options and vegetarian food in its canteen every day.


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Deputy headteacher Chris Whyatt said they have even appointed a healthy eating co-ordinator.

He said: "We can't discourage students from the chip shop, it's an individual's choice, but we do our best to promote healthy eating.''

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Mr Whyatt was unable to confirm how much they had lost in takings, but said staff are holding a healthy eating week this summer.

Stowupland High School student Jake Davey, 16, has been having sausages and chips every day since the new shop opened.

He said: "The school does have chips, but I think they are cooked from frozen, and we think the burgers are reheated. I have been down here every day and I have the sausage and chips every time.''

Villager Nigel Tupper, who runs the fish and chip shop, said: "We are using proper sausages from a local butcher and all the fish is fresh, caught off the east coast.

"I wouldn't feed people anything I wouldn't eat myself, it cuts profits, but I want to use good quality food. We have been packed out every day with students coming in during their lunchtime.''

John Collis, landlord at The Crown inn in Stowupland, who owns the fish and chip shop that opened only a week-and-a-half ago, said he has striven to make the UK's traditional dish as high quality as possible.

He said: "England's traditional dish is proving popular, but we are not offering cardboard sausages. We use meat from a local butcher, cook in vegetable oil and avoid nut oil in case people have allergies. We also have vegetarian options and are seeing a huge interest, from both adults and students.''

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