Ed Balls Comments on Chicken Cottage Controversy

School Head and Police Inspector talk about their concerns

Related Links

Chicken Cottage and Twyford CE High SchoolThe school grounds can be seen to the far left of this photograph
Fast Food outlet

Fast Food Outlet Brings Large Nugget of Concern

Toby Young Outlines Plans for Acton School

Extra Funding For Acton Training Centre

Unfair Dismissal Teacher Awarded £70,000



Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

We reported last week the remarks of Steve Pound the MP for Ealing North who had received a flurry of emails about a fast food take-away franchise due to open on the Uxbridge Road close to the entrance to Twyford Church of England High School.

This week, local Police, School Head teacher Alice Hudson and Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families have all made comments about the shop which looks set to open in the near future.

Ed Balls, who recently visited the school to launch a government programme to extend music teaching, said:

"I completely understand how angry parents and teachers are about the fast food joint opening so close to Twyford School. I am disappointed that after working so hard and making huge progress on school food, the local authority has approved permission for this shop to open.

"I believe that what goes on outside the school gates is as important as what happens inside. We are clear that schools, parents and local authorities all need to be working together to make sure our children and teenagers get the kind of healthy food that will set them up for success in life. Local authorities should use their planning powers to control more carefully the number and location of fast food outlets in their local areas.

"We know that there is no point in banning junk food and raising quality of lunches in schools, if teenagers can simply go to eat unhealthy food from neighbouring takeaways. We want to make sure local authorities are taking this seriously and have ordered a cross-government review looking at how health and social care is currently embedded in current planning policy and we will act on the findings."

Headteacher Alice Hudson commented:

"Twyford prides itself on being a healthy school. As a community we are dismayed at having to deal with having this outlet so near to the school. Also more than a little disappointed that this was allowed to happen five months after the Government issued guidance saying that fast food outlets should not open in the near vicinity of schools.

"The motives of this shop are perfectly clear, it seeks to make a profit from selling unhealthy food to the large numbers of students who would be its passing trade. The school wholly opposes this and our parents feel very strongly that students should not be taken advantage of in this way."

Representations have apparently been made on behalf of the school to Ealing Council, to the local Government ombudsman and to the Department for Children Schools and Families about this issue.

Inspector Andrew Deane from the Acton Safer Neighbourhood Teams commented:
"We understand the school's concerns over the location of outlet. We have a police officer attached to Twyford Church of Ealing High School as part of the Safer School Partnership and she will be keeping an eye on things. She regularly conducts patrols after school to ensure pupils' safety and prevent crime.

"Our fear is that any fast food restaurant situated so close to one school may increase anti-social behaviour as pupils from surrounding schools will congregate in the area."

We have contacted the franchisee to ask for his comments.


October 8, 2009