Guest post: How can governors ensure their school is adhering to School Food Standards?

The Key
Governors already have a statutory responsibility to make sure their school is adhering to the School Food Standards. The Healthy Schools Rating Scheme would give them a simple framework to help them.

Kathleen Shaw, Chair of Governors at St Richard’s CE Primary School, tells us how they are making sure their school is adhering to these standards.

 

How do we promote health?

Here at St Richard’s School we prioritise healthy eating and food education because we know that it’s vital for children’s health and wellbeing. Good food ensures children are well nourished and ready to learn.

To make sure we’re up to scratch on the food front, we make sure that our school caterers provide Food for Life gold standard lunches and every Key Stage 1 child takes up their universal free school meal. As many of our families are ‘just about managing’, this is of great economic benefit to them and ensures they all get at least one cooked meal a day.

In addition, we ensure that our all the children at our school have cookery lessons and that this area of the curriculum is well resourced. In fact we have recently refurbished our cooking facilities. We know that children are much more likely to try new foods and cook as adults if they have early experiences of cooking.

 

What’s the role of governors?

As governors we understand that it is our responsibility to ensure that our school complies with the school food standards, and that they are mandatory in all maintained schools. We’re also aware that cooking has been a mandatory part of the national curriculum since the 2014.

 

Why do we need a Healthy Schools Rating Scheme?

We are frustrated that Ofsted doesn’t evaluate this aspect of the school’s work although we are assessed in every other respect.  We believe that if the government delivers the promised healthy rating scheme for schools we would be able to shout about the good work we are doing in this area and Ofsted could begin to gather evidence on the value and effectiveness of a good food culture in schools. Clearly this would also encourage more and more schools to get involved.

We all know that what gets measured gets done! Schools need the space and incentives to focus on these areas. And that’s why we need a Healthy Schools Rating Scheme. It’s been 2 and a half years now, so what’s the government waiting for?

 

While teachers and kids are breaking up for Christmas, Jamie Oliver is going back to school in an episode of Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast on the 21st December at 8pm on Channel 4.

This time it’s not just about school food–it’s about health across the whole of the school. They find out why a Healthy Rating Scheme, promised but not yet delivered by the government, could help to raise standards across the board.

If you want to get involved with the campaign, you can tweet UK Secretary of State for Education, @DamianHinds with the hashtag #healthyschools

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