Merton kids paint the canteen red


Merton school children were filmed having a paint fight in an attempt to have their school canteen transformed


By Heather McKay

Merton schoolchildren are starring in a national campaign to improve canteens across the UK.

A professional crew filmed the children acting out a paint fight to publicise the competition from School Food Trust called ‘Canteen Rescue’ where the winning pupils will see their school canteen transformed.

Nine pupils gave up their Saturday to film the scene including 11-year-old Dominic Schneider.

He said: “It was such fun! It was also hard work as we had to follow instructions and do it over and over again. I think it is a great video.”

In the video two teams go into a canteen armed with several pots of paint. The children are meant to be painting the walls, but instead, a paint fight ensues.

Nine-year-old Lewis Blackledge said: “It was great, I got revenge on my big sister by throwing paint at her!”

Ella Blackledge, 14, said: “It was hard trying to look mean when we really wanted to laugh at each other – we got so messed up!”

An independent study carried out on behalf of the School Food Trust found that poor quality canteens are the biggest barrier to children’s uptake of school food.

The Canteen Rescue campaign aims to encourage schools to make small changes to the canteen environment, so more children will choose nutritional school meals.

Judy Hargadon, Chief Executive at the School Food Trust, said: “It is clear that when children walk into a dining hall that is crowded, noisy and unattractive, they will vote with their feet – no matter what is on the menu. 

“The danger is that the huge efforts which have gone into improving the quality of school food will quite literally go in the bin unless schools tackle the environment in which it is served.”

Big Brother winner Craig Phillips and Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills are among the stars of the celebrity panel who will shortlist the entries.  The public will then choose their five favourite.

The deadline for entries is May 29 2010.

 Merton pupils’ video can be found at:

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