On 12 march, David Laws appeared on Radio 4s World at one and said “No schools has said the revenue funding allocated money is anything other than appropriate” I think the latest Guardian articleshows that up as selective deafness?
Clearly for many schools the ongoing costs will exceed the £2.30 funding.
The 2011-12 mean cost (pg 39) of primary school meals was £2.30, meaning many will have paid more.
The Newham Pilot started with a cost of £2.59 in 2009 rising to £2.63 in 2011. (pg 126)
Even in the school food plans own evidence, 5 out of 47 primary schools had production costs above £2.30
The small schools task force provide the only up to date modelling I have seen, I have serious questions about their statistical process, but even with their optimistic projections, almost every scenario is in deficit. (Pg 25 )
Sadly the 2011-12 report on school meals was the last one available, as Michael Gove ended the funding, however since then, Food prices have increased, utility bills have risen, new charges for disposal of food waste have kicked in and we have had a rise in the national minimum wage. All of these add inflationary pressures to school meal prices and whilst some of this will be mitigated by economies of scale and optimising working practices, many schools will face an increase in their costs above and beyond the £2.30 funding. The scale of this problem is unknown, but i suspect it will be a significant number, sadly (or fortunately) no one is collating and publishing the figures. One thing is certain, some schools will be forced to subsidise the policy from Other Budgets.