An Oxfordshire pub has been contracted to provide meals to a nearby primary school. Educationguardian.co.uk has reported that the Crooked Billet, winner of the Waitrose Gastropub of the Year 2005 award, has agreed to supply pupils of Stoke Row Church of England School, near Henley, with lunches. On the seasonally sensitive menu are such dishes as lamb casserole, chicken stir-fry and goat’s cheese soufflé. Dessert and fresh fruit is also on offer. The meals have led to a slight price hike for the students – from £1.77 to £2 – but according to the site, school staff are more than happy that pupils are now provided with "restaurant quality" food. Moreover, all supplies are locally produced, with even the honey for the desserts being supplied by local beehives. Since the scheme’s inception in July, the number of pupils opting in has risen from four to 60. The total student body numbers 84 children. The contract has agreed for a year, but there is an option to renew indefinitely. Of each meal, the pub receives £1.35, as the school must deduct serving staff costs and VAT, a source of contention for Crooked Billet owner Paul Clerehugh. He said: "The government could possibly help us here by not taking the VAT for the school meals. The government tries to encourage this sort of scheme but then takes 20% of the money for itself."

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