Food for Life Partnership : Criteria and guidanceCriteria and guidance

How to achieve the Silver and Gold awards. Download the full list of award criteria and guidance – including examples of schools who are already transforming their food culture.

 Silver award

Food leadership and school food culture

  • Our governors have signed off a school food policy with a timetable for action.
  • We give lunchtime a clear priority in our school day, and timetabling clashes are avoided.
  • We ensure take up of school meals by pupils registered for free school meals is 90% or higher, and we are taking action to raise general school meal take up.
  • We have made sure that key teachers or others have skills needed to lead gardening and cooking activities and ensure basic food hygiene.
  • We work with parents to discourage unhealthy snacks or lunch box contents.
  • We invite parents and/or community groups into our school to eat with our pupils.
  • We don’t use flight trays.

Food quality and provenance (delivered in partnership with our caterer)

  • Our school food meets the Silver standards of the Food for Life Catering Mark, which means we take care that our food is healthy, ethical and uses local ingredients. We use a minimum of 5% organic ingredients in our menus. Using the Food for Life Catering Mark Points Calculator, our menus achieve at least 150 points:
  • 40 points for sourcing ethical and environmentally friendly food
  • 20 points for championing local food producers
  • 20 points for making healthy eating easier
  • 70 points from any of these categories

Food education

  • We have established a cooking club and our pupils are cooking with seasonal, local and organic ingredients.
  • We ensure pupils in our garden group and/or a class are growing fruit, vegetables and herbs organically.
  • We have produce from our school garden available at least once a term for pupils to eat or cook with.
  • Our pupils explore the ethical and environmental issues around food choices and this is linked to changes in our school meals.
  • One or more of our year groups keep in touch with a local farm throughout the year.
  • We organise at least one annual visit to or from small local food businesses.

Community and partnerships

  • We hold events to involve parents and/or the wider community in growing and cooking activities.
  • We actively encourage our pupils and their parents to grow and cook their own produce at home.
  • Our pupils share Food for Life Partnership learning with local schools, the wider community and other partners.


The Food for Life Partnership is a network of schools and communities across England committed to transforming food culture. Together we are revolutionising school meals, reconnecting children and young people with where their food comes from, and inspiring families to grow and cook food.

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