Inflation could see schools shrink children's meals amid 'unsustainable' costs

There are warnings schools may have to reduce portion sizes for children’s meals due to costs. Credit: PA Images

Rising food and energy costs are becoming 'unsustainable' for schools, according to a Devon headteacher.

Dr Paul Gosling, from Exeter Road Community Primary School, says despite escalating prices, they have held off increasing how much they charge paying families but warned they will not be able to absorb the cost indefinitely.

He said: "The money we get for infant and key stage 2 free school meals is not keeping pace with gas increases and increasing food supply costs.”

It follows a warning from the boss of one of t he UK's biggest food wholesalers that schools may have to reduce portion sizes for children’s meals due to ratcheting costs.

Andrew Selley, chief executive of Bidfood, said schools might also use cheaper ingredients in a bid to counter rapidly rising food prices.

The chairman of Marks & Spencer also warned that food prices could soar by as much as 10% this year.

Archie Norman, said: “It’s very negative for consumer discretionary income but it’s perhaps not apocalyptic.”

Analysts have predicted that overall inflation could rise sharply to 9.1% for April, with the latest official data due to be released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Wednesday (May 17).

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