Holly Park School in Friern Barnet has 'no plans' to replace canteen managers despite damning food hygiene report

Holly Park Primary School was handed a ‘zero’ out of five rating by inspectors, meaning ‘urgent improvement necessary’

Holly Park Primary School was handed a ‘zero’ out of five rating by inspectors, meaning ‘urgent improvement necessary’

First published in News
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A school that was given the lowest possible food hygiene rating by inspectors is not looking to replace its canteen contractor, according to a senior governor.

Holly Park Primary School, in Bellevue Road, Friern Barnet, was handed a ‘zero’ out of five rating, meaning ‘urgent improvement necessary’, during a visit by council inspectors in December.

But more than four months on, the school is sticking with canteen managers Team Barnet, despite claims from governor of ten years Brian Salinger that “they only clean as high as the kitchen staff can reach”.

Cobwebs and insects were found covering the ceilings of the primary school kitchen, along with a further 20 contraventions that inspectors said threatened the contamination of food.

The kitchen was deemed to have “no pest control compliance”, while staff were found using broken electrical sockets and extension leads.

An electric bug killer was found full of dead insects in the damning report, published one month after the inspectors’ visit.

Peeling paint, broken flooring and inappropriate work surfaces were also criticised, while a ceiling skylight was found covered in mould and condensation and the ventilation throughout the kitchen was considered inadequate.

It remains unclear whether parents were informed about the inspectors’ verdict at the time of the report.

School governor and local councillor Mr Salinger said improvements had been made at the school, which is planning to install a new kitchen next term.

But he also said there were no plans to change the canteen contractor, Team Barnet, which is managed by Barnet Council.

He said: “We’re not actively looking to change, no. I was made aware that we had a problem at the time of the report and we have been in ongoing discussions with the council to have the kitchen replaced – we have been told we’re a priority.

“I don’t know if parents were told – I’m not aware of every correspondence that is sent out. As far as I know though, no parents have expressed any concerns.

“One of the problems we had was that the kitchen managers only cleaned as high as the staff could reach. But it largely came down to a lack of communication between Team Barnet and the school.”

Asked how the parents at the school should feel about the report, Councillor Salinger added: “They should feel reassured that these issues have been dealt with.”

A council spokesperson said: “The inspection highlighted a number of health and safety issues regarding maintenance issues at the school, which is not uncommon in older premises such as these.

"It is important to note the food hygiene and handling was rated as good. Environmental health officers have been working closely with the catering manager to remedy the issues and a recent inspection rated this as good.

"£150,000 has been allocated for substantial kitchen refurbishment at Holly Park. This is a substantial task which will happen during the summer break.”

The Times Series submitted a Freedom of Information request to Barnet Council to obtain a copy of the Holly Park School food hygiene report more than two weeks ago.

Despite having yet to respond to the Times Series’ initial request, Barnet Council this week sent the report to a Barnet blogger, who had made the same request one week later than the newspaper. The council blamed the situation on its administration procedures.

Comments (4)

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4:53pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

It's no good trying to deflect the blame on the canteen staff: this situation has occurred due to the actions or inactions of school governors, council/Capita managers - and Barnet's failure to invest in such schools, lseemingly leaving at least some of them - in Labour voting areas, funnily enough - in a state of substandard repair.

Why did the school continue to use this kitchen after the appalling report? A follow up report weeks later found many requirements still ignored. Children have been at risk as a result. There are also concerns about the structural safety which should be addressed urgently.

In my view, and please note it was Barnet bloggers who reported this story, there should be an investigation into the matter, so lessons are learned, and in order to reassure parents at Barnet schools that their children are safe and attending schools that are clean, and fit for purpose.
It's no good trying to deflect the blame on the canteen staff: this situation has occurred due to the actions or inactions of school governors, council/Capita managers - and Barnet's failure to invest in such schools, lseemingly leaving at least some of them - in Labour voting areas, funnily enough - in a state of substandard repair. Why did the school continue to use this kitchen after the appalling report? A follow up report weeks later found many requirements still ignored. Children have been at risk as a result. There are also concerns about the structural safety which should be addressed urgently. In my view, and please note it was Barnet bloggers who reported this story, there should be an investigation into the matter, so lessons are learned, and in order to reassure parents at Barnet schools that their children are safe and attending schools that are clean, and fit for purpose. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 4

8:17pm Wed 9 Apr 14

harvey_uk says...

What nonsense Mrs Angry-On-Th-Blob 24x7. The cleaners/staff at the school get paid to do a job and quite clearly they have failed. They should be sacked and contractors replaced, along with the school/council staff who are supposed to supervise contractors! Lets hope it's not your kids who get food poisoning. The reason most of the parents haven't complained is down to the school not publishing the report in Polish, Lithuanian or Bulgarian languages. Chris Hewitt why was this not on your worst places to eat in Barnet when you published your article recently on low food hygiene establishments in Barnet?
What nonsense Mrs Angry-On-Th-Blob 24x7. The cleaners/staff at the school get paid to do a job and quite clearly they have failed. They should be sacked and contractors replaced, along with the school/council staff who are supposed to supervise contractors! Lets hope it's not your kids who get food poisoning. The reason most of the parents haven't complained is down to the school not publishing the report in Polish, Lithuanian or Bulgarian languages. Chris Hewitt why was this not on your worst places to eat in Barnet when you published your article recently on low food hygiene establishments in Barnet? harvey_uk
  • Score: 3

9:20am Thu 10 Apr 14

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

Who does 'Harvey_Uk' always resort to racism as the knee jerk reaction to any given issue? Pathetic. The school did not publish the report, at all. The fault lies with many: this is how things are, in life, complex and not reducible to the bigoted simplicity of your blinkered thought processes.
Who does 'Harvey_Uk' always resort to racism as the knee jerk reaction to any given issue? Pathetic. The school did not publish the report, at all. The fault lies with many: this is how things are, in life, complex and not reducible to the bigoted simplicity of your blinkered thought processes. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 0

6:17pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Aphex3030 says...

Down hill since Alice Rudling left!! Not a problem in her 25 years!
Down hill since Alice Rudling left!! Not a problem in her 25 years! Aphex3030
  • Score: 0

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