DfE: Schools may have to change lunch menus under no-deal Brexit

Schools are being urged to contact their food suppliers to make sure they are preparing for a no-deal Brexit and may have to change their lunch menus if we crash out without a deal, according to new guidance.

Updated government guidance on a no-deal Brexit, released today, advises schools that source their own food to contact their suppliers to check they are preparing for no-deal, and must be ready to adapt menus “to allow for product substitution” in case of food shortages. Those that procure supplies through their local authority or academy trust are urged to contact them instead.

Schools have been told to seek reassurance that suppliers will still be able to “meet nutritional standards and to accommodate special dietary needs and allergens” when introducing substitutes.

The guidance said the government is working to ensure food can continue to come into the UK without “significant delays” in the case of a no-deal Brexit, but warns it “does not have control over the checks imposed by EU member states at the EU side of the border”.

New additions to the guidance also include advice on medical supplies, which says should schools work with their local authority or academy trust to put in place “robust contingency plans” if they have concerns about problems obtaining medical supplies leaving them unable to meet statutory duties relating to special needs, health and safety or safeguarding.

However, it says the government is working to ensure there will not be significant delays to medicines coming in to the UK in the case of a no deal Brexit and schools should continue with their normal arrangements for medical supplies.

The guidance document was first published in January but updated with warnings about food suppliers and medicines today.

It also states that details of sanctions imposed on teachers in Europe will no longer be shared with English authorities in the event of a no-deal Brexit and warned that the current system of reciprocal recognition of professional qualifications, including teaching qualifications, will also end.