Fewer English secondary school pupils are taking school dinners since changes in September intended to improve the quality of meals.
A BBC survey this month found 59% of the local authorities who responded said the number of pupils eating dinners had gone down. Of those, 71% agreed Jamie Oliver’s healthy meals campaign was a reason.
Overall the decline was just 5.8%, although individual areas had seen decreases of as much as 30%
Barry Gurteen, trade sector director of Brakes, said: “There have been many contributing factors to this decline, including reduction in roll numbers (a predicted decline of 3% between 2004-2007) and the fact that school dinner times have been greatly reduced.”