16 Jun 2012

School meal blog ban lifted

5:40 am on 16 June 2012

A ban preventing a Scottish girl from photographing and rating her school meals has been lifted following a storm of protest on the internet.

Martha Payne, aged nine from Argyll, started her blog to raise money for a charity and published photographs of school lunches, along with her rating of each meal.

But on Thursday evening, she said Lochgilphead Primary School had told her not to take any more photographs in the canteen.

The school was acting on instructions from the Argyll and Bute Council, which supplies the meals. The council said press coverage of the blog had led catering staff to fear for their jobs.

The Daily Record newspaper published a photograph of Martha alongside a chef under the headline "Time to fire the dinner ladies."

However, the council has now instructed senior officials to lift the ban.

Martha began publishing photographs of her lunches at the school on 30 April. She gave each meal a rating and counted the number of mouthfuls it took her to eat it.

Publicity caused by the ban helped Martha reach her £7000 target for the charity. Pledges of more than £30,000 were made by Friday afternoon.

The total stood at about £2000 on Thursday evening.