Argyll and Bute Council

Argyll and Bute Council makes 9 year old girl stop school lunch blog Never Seconds as it makes catering staff ‘fear for their jobs’


By The Drum Team, Editorial

June 15, 2012 | 3 min read

The Argyll and Bute Council has told nine year old Martha Payne she cannot continue with her blog on the lunch choices at her school, describing the blog and press it received as ‘unwarranted attacks on its school catering service… which have led catering staff to fear for their jobs.’

On the ‘Never Seconds’ blog, which has had over two million page views, the schoolgirl wrote yesterday: “This morning in maths I got taken out of class by my head teacher and taken to her office. I was told that I could not take any more photos of my school dinners because of a headline in a newspaper today.

“I only write my blog not newspapers and I am sad I am no longer allowed to take photos. I will miss sharing and rating my school dinners and I’ll miss seeing the dinners you send me too. I don’t think I will be able to finish raising enough money for a kitchen for Mary’s Meals either.”

The blog showed photos of the girl’s lunch on a daily basis, which can clearly be seen to improve as the blog goes on, with the blog saying an unlimited salad, fruits and bread policy was announced.

However, the council said in its statement ‘there have been no changes to the service on offer since the introduction of the blog’, describing the increase of food seen in the photos as ‘standing options and are not a result of any changes in response to the blog site.’ It also said that the Payne family were the only people who complained about the meals.

The comment added: “As part of the curriculum for excellence, pupils in all our schools are regularly taught about healthy eating and at lunch breaks staff encourage pupils to make good choices from what is on offer. We use a system called ‘Nutmeg’ to make sure everything is nutritionally balanced. Our staff also get nutrition awareness training so they know how to provide a good healthy meal. There is portion sized guidance which we adhere to and it is matched to the age of the child so they get the right amount of food. Second portions would mean too many calories for pupils.

“The council’s focus is now on supporting the school in the education of young people in Argyll and Bute.”

UPDATED: Argyll and Bute Council has now dropped its ban on Martha's blog. More to follow.

Argyll and Bute Council

More from Argyll and Bute Council

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +