AN EXTRA 280m is to be spent on improving school dinners in England over the next three years, the government has confirmed.

 The announcement came on Wednesday (Mar 30) as celebrity chef Jamie Oliver delivered a petition of 271,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street as part of his campaign to see school dinners improved.

Primary schools will now be able to spend a minimum of 50p on a mid-day meal and secondary schools 60p. “It is certainly very positive – 20 years too late but we are talking about the right sort of money,” said Mr Oliver. “Unfortunately, it has taken a documentary and really the hearts and emotions of the kids and families we filmed to touch the nation.”

 Priority will go to schools spending the least, but all schools should get some of the 220m fund. A further 60m is to made available through a new School Food Trust to advise on healthy menus.