Introduced in July 2019, the healthy schools rating scheme is a voluntary scheme for primary and secondary schools in England that recognises and encourages their contribution to supporting pupils’ health and wellbeing. The scheme was devised to celebrate the positive actions that schools are delivering in terms of healthy eating and physical activity, and aims to help schools identify useful next steps in their provision.
The scheme is part of a wider series of government actions to support pupils’ health and wellbeing, and is a commitment from the government’s Childhood Obesity Plan. This voluntary scheme is available for both primary and secondary schools. Schools complete a self-assessment and then receive a rating based on their responses around food education, compliance with the school food standards, time spent on physical education and the promotion of active travel.
Schools complete a survey including questions around:
- Food education, including in the curriculum and teacher training;
- Compliance with the school food standards;
- The amount of time children spend on physical education each week;
- Participation in active travel schemes.
The scheme then provides a rating based on the responses on these key criteria.
How does Food – a fact of life support?
In relation to the Food education criterion, Food – a fact of life provides a range of resources and recipes, as well as professional development opportunities for teachers, to support schools in their healthy schools work. The website also provides support for a ‘whole school approach’, as well as advice around school meals and physical activity.
Here’s a few ways in which Food – a fact of life supports the Healthy schools rating scheme:
- Healthy eating in the curriculum – differentiated healthy eating activities and resources for children aged 3 to 16 years (3-5, 5-7, 7-11, 11-14 and 14-16);
- Extra-curricular cooking clubs – provides over 200 recipes for use by children, which can be filtered by age, ingredient, food skill and/or complexity;
- Growing food – support for learning about where food comes from, including activities, worksheets and videos;
- Professional development for teachers on food – a series of training opportunities, as well as advice, support and resources to support personal and professional development over time;
- Whole school approach - featuring policy development, food regulations and guidance, and curriculum and qualifications;
- Parental engagement - activity suggestions and resources for schools to use to engage with parents and carers.
The scheme is one way for schools to demonstrate their commitment to child health – and Food – a fact of life can support schools in their journey to success, To find out more about the Healthy schools rating scheme, click here.
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