How safe are YOUR children's school dinners? Interactive map reveals 100 schools with poor food hygiene ratings

  • Post category:news
  • Reading time:8 min(s) read

  • More than 100 schools have received unsatisfactory food standards ratings 
  • Two schools, one in London and another in Cornwall received a ZERO rating 

A primary school and a boarding school have both received a zero food standards rating following visits from health inspectors. 

The Darul Uloom Islamic School in Chislehurst and Boskenwyn Community Primary School in Helston, Cornwall, were both inspected towards the end of last term. 

Both establishments were warned they needed to work urgently to adhere the regulations.  

Cornwall council visited the school on July 19, where they said urgent improvement was necessary on the management of food safety.  

However, Ofsted inspectors in November described the school as ‘good’.  

Bromley Council found that major improvement was necessary at Darul Uloom School with food handling and food safety management. The inspection, on June 23, also found improvement was also required on the building’s cleanliness and the condition of facilities. 

Ofsted inspectors who visited Darul Uloom School in January 2023 also described the school as ‘good’.

HOW TO USE THE MAP: Click on a dot to see details of an individual school. You can also zoom into areas where there are several schools in close proximity. There is a link to the Food Standards Agency website where you can check out the latest information

Boskenwyn Community Primary School in Helston, Cornwall, pictured, which received a 'Good' Ofsted rating in November, was visited by health inspectors to the end of last term where they said 'urgent improvement' was necessary to their food safety regime

Boskenwyn Community Primary School in Helston, Cornwall, pictured, which received a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating in November, was visited by health inspectors to the end of last term where they said ‘urgent improvement’ was necessary to their food safety regime

The Darul Uloom School in Chislehurst, pictured, also received a zero-star rating

The Darul Uloom School in Chislehurst, pictured, also received a zero-star rating

More than 100 schools across England and Wales have been placed in the lowest three categories relating to food safety, after local authority inspectors expressed their concern about standards. 

Some 36 of these schools received a one-star rating, which requires ‘major improvement’.

However, some pupils returned to school this week to discover classrooms closed down after it emerged the buildings had been constructed using crumble-prone concrete. 

READ MORE: Parents upgrade school packed lunches with sushi and fresh pineapple 

Children are enjoying a much more exotic and varied array of tasty treats in their lunchboxes, with sushi and fresh pineapple growing in popularity (file image)

Children are enjoying a much more exotic and varied array of tasty treats in their lunchboxes, with sushi and fresh pineapple growing in popularity (file image)

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The scandal, which has seen thousands of children ordered to stay at home while vital safety work is carried out on their schools, led to Education Secretary Gillian Keegan launching a foul-mouth outburst while on camera. 

Hours before pupils were due to start the new year, Ms Keegan told more than 100 schools to make full or partial closures after reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) was discovered on their premises. 

The building material was popular between the 1950s and 80s and was used to roof schools and similar large structures. 

However, tests over the past decade has found the material has degraded with poorly maintained sections liable to collapse.  

Ms Keegan provoked anger after she was caught on camera asking why no-one says ‘you’ve done a f****** good job’ while ‘everyone else has sat on their a*** and done nothing’.

At a drinks reception in Westminster on Wednesday night, Ms Keegan insisted the critical coverage ‘really hasn’t bothered me that much because I know I’ve made the right decision’.

‘If you know you’ve made the right decision, but they don’t know you’ve made the right decision, and you also know you can manage the implementation, execution of what you need to do, they’re sensationalising it,’ she said at the invite-only Conservatives In Communications event.

‘They’re not journalists, they’re sensationalists, but I’m more confident that, you know, I just really think it’s the right thing, we’ve made the right decision.’

A list published by the Department for Education (DfE) shows 147 schools have been affected so far by Raac, with 19 forced to delay the start of term.

Four have had to switch to remote learning for all students and an additional 20 have had to offer some remote learning.

Six major unions representing school staff have written to Ms Keegan demanding she sets out how many schools suspect having Raac but are yet to have been investigated or surveyed.

Education secretary Gillian Keegan, pictured outside 10 Downing Street, has faced down critics who have attacked her handling of the Raac concrete scandal

Education secretary Gillian Keegan, pictured outside 10 Downing Street, has faced down critics who have attacked her handling of the Raac concrete scandal

With the National Education Union, Unison and the National Association of Head Teachers among the signatories, they have also demanded to know the deadline for clearing all schools of the dangerous concrete.

They fear the level of information from the DfE so far may not ‘reflect the full extent of the problem’.

Ministers have sought to level some blame for a delay in getting the full information together on school leaders.

Ms Keegan told school chiefs on Tuesday yet to respond to a survey on the possible presence of Raac to ‘get off their backsides’ and respond.

But Downing Street said the picture was improving, with only a ‘small minority’ yet to write back.

One school has told parents it was closing while awaiting a verdict from Government-appointed surveyors as to whether Raac is present.

Woodhouse Primary Academy in Quinton, Birmingham, said it was switching to remote learning as they ‘cannot completely ensure the safety of everyone within the school building at this time’.

Downing Street said it is not aware of other schools shutting while awaiting a survey.

‘I don’t believe there’s any requirement to close in advance of a survey,’ the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.

Science Secretary Michelle Donelan defended Ms Keegan on Thursday, rejecting any suggestion an overly cautious approach had opened a ‘Pandora’s box’ for other departments with Raac-affected buildings.

‘No, absolutely not. We have taken a proactive and cautious response. But I think we should do that. We’re talking about children and children’s safety going to schools. It would be wrong if we did anything but,’ she told LBC.

MailOnline has approached both Boskenwyn Primary School and Darul Uloom School for a comment. 

  •  Hygiene information published by the Food Standards Agency. Data correct as of September 8, 2023

What are the Food Standards Ratings? 

The scheme gives businesses a rating from 5 to 0 which is displayed at their premises and online so you can make more informed choices about where to buy and eat food.

5 – hygiene standards are very good

4 – hygiene standards are good

3 – hygiene standards are generally satisfactory

2 – some improvement is necessary

1 – major improvement is necessary

0 – urgent improvement is required

The scheme is set out in law in Wales and Northern Ireland but display of the rating sticker is voluntary in England. 

Ratings are a snapshot of the standards of food hygiene found at the time of inspection. It is the responsibility of the business to comply with food hygiene law at all times.

This includes:

  • handling of food
  • how food is stored
  • how food is prepared
  • cleanliness of facilities
  • how food safety is managed

The food hygiene rating scheme does not provide information on the following factors:

  • quality of the food
  • customer service
  • culinary skill
  • presentation
  • comfort

The rating shows how well the business is doing overall, based on standards found at the time of inspection. The ratings can be found online and on stickers which are displayed at business premises. The back of the sticker and the online rating will also show the date of the inspection by the local authority’s food safety officer.

Ratings are typically given to places where food is supplied, sold or consumed, such as:

  • restaurants, pubs and cafes
  • takeaways, food vans and stalls
  • canteens and hotels
  • supermarkets and other food shops
  • schools, hospitals and care homes

A food safety officer from the local authority inspects a business to check that it follows food hygiene law so that the food is safe to eat.

At the inspection, the officer will check the following three elements:

  • how hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
  • the physical condition of the business –including cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation, pest control and other facilities
  • how the business manages ways of keeping food safe, looking at processes, training and systems to ensure good hygiene is maintained. The officer can then assess the level of confidence in standards being maintained in the future

Source: Food Standards Agency 

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