After a £1m cut to its budget, the School Food Trust is coming under increasing pressure to justify its existence in face of a widespread perception that its work is done. Neil Gerrard reports.
Did you ever get duffed up by the school bully and have your dinner money stolen? Then spare a thought for the School Food Trust (SFT), which had a bit of a run in with one of the big kids in the Westminster playground last week - Chancellor George Osborne.
The £1m that Osborne snatched off the SFT was actually part of its marketing and communications budget for 2011, leaving it with a total of just £7.5m for the coming year.
But things could get harder still as some of the other kids begin to play rough with the SFT too - and they want to see it with more than just a wedgie and its head down the toilet.
SERVED ITS PURPOSE
Vic Laws of AVL Consulting was quick to advocate a total closure of the quango when the news of the funding cut came out. He argues it has now served its purpose. Having already established a series of food- and nutrient-based standards for school lunches, the body is little more than a glorified marketing and data collection company, according to Laws. And the millions in its budget would better serve by being channelled into whatever follows the School Lunch Grant, a £240m fund which runs out in 2011.