Deadly 'A-salt' food now banned to protect children…Junk food to be banned in schools
Ruth Kelly asked an expert panel to draw up nutritional standards
Foods high in fat, salt or sugar are to be banned from vending machines and meals in English schools within a year.
The ban from next September is to be announced by Education Secretary Ruth Kelly at the Labour Party conference.
Ministers had said vending machines could be excluded from a crackdown, but they will now be banned from stocking sweets, crisps and high-sugar drinks.
The School Meals Review Panel is next week to announce nutritional standards that will be compulsory in schools.
I am absolutely clear that the scandal of junk food served every day in school canteens must end
Ms Kelly's speech in Brighton is also due to outline plans for more parental choice in schools.
The School Meals Review Panel was set up after a campaign to improve school meals by TV chef Jamie Oliver.
His television series revealing the low standards in school food sparked widespread concern.
In response to Oliver's programme, the government promised extra funding to bring the primary school meal budget up to 50p per pupil per day - and created the panel to set minimum nutritional standards for school meals.
I think it's a definite movement in the right direction
These standards will be introduced from this term - and will become mandatory from September 2006.
Nutritionist Jane Clarke worked on Oliver's programme. She told BBC Radio Five Live Ms Kelly's proposals were a step in the right direction.
"I think it's a definite movement in the right direction of just having fruit, having water, having maybe some unsalted nuts...
"These are the right things because we're showing that kids can still have good tasting food that's healthy."
In her speech to the Labour party conference, the education secretary is expected to promote the need for children to have a healthy diet at school.
She will say: "I am absolutely clear that the scandal of junk food served every day in school canteens must end."
"So today I can announce that we will ban poor quality processed bangers and burgers being served in schools from next September.
[Schools are] not there to make a profit for the confectionery and soft drink industry. They're there to care for children
Health Education Trust
"And because children need healthy options throughout the school day I can also announce that from next September no school will be able to have vending machines selling crisps, chocolates, or sugary fizzy drinks."
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Ms Kelly said it was "common sense" that some sorts of foods should be excluded from school menus.
"And those are foods that, for example, are meat products that are made from reconstituted meat slurry that bears no resemblance to the original product."
Ms Kelly said school governors would have a responsibility for the food served, which would be monitored by Ofsted.
Plans to raise the standard of school food will not benefit pupils in local authorities where there is no school meals service.
Joe Harvey, the director of the Health Education Trust, which has advised the government on healthy eating in schools, said it was time for schools to abandon their reliance on the quick fix of junk food.
On Five Live, he said: "Why is it that head teachers and governing bodies have been prepared to accept really quite high levels of profit from food and drink that they know very well is not good for the children that they're responsible for?
"They're not there to make a profit for the confectionery and soft drink industry. They're there to care for children."
In Wales, an assembly government spokesperson said: "We very much look forward to hearing about any new legislation encouraging healthy eating among young people.
"In Wales, we have always taken a whole school approach, providing healthy breakfasts through our healthy vending machine pilots in Pembrokeshire to better the nutrition of school meals.
"Carmarthenshire has just won the prize for the best local authority in the entire UK for the quality of its school meals."
We have got to revert back to every school
Meanwhile, Ms Kelly is also expected to give more details of the priorities of her forthcoming White Paper on schools.
This could address plans to create more choice within the state school system - and a more individualised approach to learning.
"Choice and personalisation" have been identified as priorities by the education secretary, who will be examining ways to give greater access to high-quality schools to youngsters in deprived areas.
This could include more city academies, a wider range of school providers and improvements with school transport.
But one of Ms Kelly's predecessors, Estelle Morris, said the problem was school standards - not choice.
"We have got to revert back to 'every school a good school' so parents have got good schools from which to choose," she said.
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