Half a cheer for new Healthy Schools Ratings Scheme

Children's Food Campaign welcomes the arrival of the long-delayed Healthy Schools Ratings Scheme, which launches in July 2019 for both primary and secondary schools. 

Copyright: School Food Matters

Copyright: School Food Matters

The Children's Food Campaign welcomes the launch of the new Healthy Schools Ratings Scheme from July 2019.

The voluntary scheme, which is open to both primary and secondary schools will give equal weighting to healthy eating and physical activity, and award bronze, silver or gold awards to schools based on self assessment. Categories cover school food standards, nutrition education and cookery, time spent doing physical activity and active travel to school. 

A Healthy Schools Ratings Scheme was first pledged in the Government's original Childhood Obesity Plan in August 2016, and originally meant to be introduced by September 2017. The Government has now launched a 'beta phase' scheme for the first year, and is encouraging participating schools to provide feedback with a view to its future improvement. To participate however, schools must also be registered participants in Sport England's Active Lives for Children and Young People survey. In 2017/18 academic year, this survey covered less than 110,000 of the 8.05 million children in state funded primary and secondary schools in England, and is wholly focussed on physical activity.

Co-ordinator of the Children's Food Campaign Barbara Crowther says, 

"It's good to see plans for the Healthy Schools Ratings Scheme finally published, and we're pleased it's open to both primary and secondary schools.   However we're only giving the scheme half a cheer today. Parents and teachers alike have overwhelmingly backed a mandatory, externally monitored scheme for all state-funded schools, not just a limited voluntary award. To meet bold ambitions to halve child obesity by 2030, and given evidence of current disparities in compliance with school food standards and delivery of nutrition education from one school to another, we're missing the opportunity to build a truly comprehensive picture of the health of our schools, and a ratings scheme that would give parents of every pupil in every school information they can trust."

 

 

 

 


08/07/2019
Children's Food Campaign

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Children's Food Campaign: Better food and food teaching for children in schools, and protection of children from junk food marketing are the aims of Sustain's high-profile Children's Food Campaign. We also want clear food labelling that can be understood by everyone, including children.

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