Like many other headteachers, O'Sullivan has done little to prepare so far for the introduction of the coalition's new policy. He says he won't find time to plan until he's clear about exactly what he is expected to do.
"These kind of things get announced at a political conference and, as a head, you're absolutely bombarded. With the amount of stuff that comes through to you, you have to prioritise."And no, this is not a case of truculence and intransigence from a NUT drone, either. The policy is simply unworkable:
Headteachers and governors still believe that it will simply be impractical for most schools – and absolutely impossible for some – to provide a hot meal by September 2014.
An audit by the DfE of facilities and capabilities is under way, but the results are not available to the public.
Lack of funding is not the only problem schools face. Some are in buildings where a new kitchen simply cannot be added on. Others face a sheer lack of space, either for kitchens and storage, or for dining, or both.You couldn’t make it up, could you?
Also the total inversion of previous guidelines as a result of media hysteria, expansion through scaremongering, confusion over competing rights and equality legislation, rigid application of ‘weapons policies’, prosecution via hindsight and justice system intransigence.