News release

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Description

Experience Level: Intermediate
you work for Southfield Metropolitan Borough Council%u2019s PR department and have been asked to issue a news release based on a school %u201COpen Lunch%u201D event at which parents and relatives are being invited to join their children for lunch.
The council%u2019s long-term communication objectives are to highlight the organisation%u2019s commitment to:
DELIVER quality services to the people of Southfield
RESPOND to local needs
PRODUCE results that can be seen to benefit the whole community
The council%u2019s short-term goals in relation to this event are to:
PUBLICIZE the event to parents who might attend
HIGHLIGHT the increased spending on school meals in Southfield
INCREASE the number of children taking school meals
You have been asked to draft quotes for Councillor Jim Foreman, lead member for lifelong learning and leisure, school governor Sharon Hagan and head teacher Barbara Livesley.
Background information is attached.
The release is to be 360 %u2013 420 words (excluding headers, catchlines, contact details, etc).

News Release Briefing:
Catering in schools has come under the media microscope since celebrity chef Jamie Oliver criticised standards in his C4 television series, Jamie's School Dinners, three years ago.
A school governor at Sir John Trotter Primary School in Bloggers Road, Southfield, anxious about the negative publicity and a drop in children taking school meals as a result of parents%u2019 concerns about the quality of the food suggested that an Open Lunch should be held at the school.
Now parents and grandparents will be tucking into dinner alongside their children at the primary school next Wednesday (Nov 12). Sir John Trotter Primary School has invited the adults to sample modern school meals for themselves.
By inviting parents and grandparents to come and see what is on offer at lunchtime, the school aims to show that school meals in Southfield are healthy and nutritious.
The idea to invite the adults came from the Council's Education Catering Service and school governor Sharon Hagan. She is the school's nominated "link" governor, which means she works with the Education Catering Service and has an input in menu planning and other school meal-related issues. So far, there are around 20 "link" governors in schools across the Borough.
The council says it is committed to providing healthy, nutritious food. It hopes that by inviting parents into school to try school meals they can see for themselves that the days of lumpy gravy and overcooked veg are long gone.
If parents cannot make the special event this Wednesday, they can arrange to come into a school on any schoolday to see what the Education Catering Service has to offer.
They will be asked to complete a questionnaire after the lunch so that they can tell the council just what they think of their children%u2019s school dinners.

The council has increased the amount spent on each child%u2019s school meal by 20 per cent %u2013 up from 60p to 72p %u2013 since Jamie's School Dinners was broadcast, but the amount of children eating school meals has also, coincidentally dropped by 20 per cent. It%u2019s not clear whether the drop is because of parents%u2019 fears about the quality of the food or that the children do not like the new, healthier lunches on offer.

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