We have used the programme to motivate pupils and teachers, engage parents and the community and, most importantly, to teach the curriculum.
Jenny Cooper, teacher
Lyndhurst Junior School, Portsmouth
Good for improving education
"Pupils are healthier, therefore they are happier, therefore they are achieving more in the classroom and in exams. After lunchtime we used to have around 10 to 12 call outs for challenging behaviour in an hour. We did a survey two years ago after joining the FFLP and we were down to four. I think there is a correlation there between improved food provision in school and better behaviour after lunchtime."
Seamus O’Donnell, headteacher, Archbishop Ilsley Catholic Technology College
Learning and attainment
- FFLP schools saw a greater increase in pupil attainment compared to the national average. Pre-FFLP, the Flagship secondary schools had a below average attainment figure (-3.3%), but managed to close the gap to -0.6%. FFLP primary schools had higher than average pupil attainment prior to the scheme, and increased this difference from 4.3% to 7.3% (Orme et al, 2011, p.151).
- UWE’s evaluation found that more than twice as many FFLP primary schools received an Ofsted rating of Outstanding following their participation (37.2% compared to 17.3% outstanding pre-enrolment) (Orme et al, 2011, p.152).
- According to the evaluation by NFER, "interviewees consistently reported that FFLP had contributed to their school improvement agendas, helping improve attainment, behaviour and school environments" (Teeman et al, 2011, p.45). The UWE research found similar results: 80% of senior teaching staff in FFLP Flagship Schools reported that the initiative had been effective across a range of school development priorities, with 56% stating that FFLP had been either effective or very effective in helping theschool to improve pupil behaviour, attention and attainment (Orme et al, 2011, p.157).
- In addition, NFER found that the opportunities for experiential learning through the FFLP were "particularly effective at helping engage or re-engage pupils with learning issues and challenges" (Teeman et al, 2011, p.47).
- Other research has shown that in schools where improvements were made to the food and dining room, pupils were more likely to concentrate in afternoon lessons. Similarly, in Greenwich – the London borough where Jamie Oliver’s Feed Me Better school food campaign began – test results among 11 year-olds in English and Science have shot up and absenteeism owing to sickness has fallen. Researchers from Oxford University and the University of Essex say the positive effects on educational attainment are comparable in magnitude to those seen after the introduction of the literacy hour in the 1990s.
- School Food Trust research found that healthier school food has a positive impact on pupils’ academic achievement and therefore on their lifetime earnings, returning the Government’s investment tenfold.
"The key to a low cost in providing a school meals service is not to reduce the food cost but to increase sales and thus spread staff and other overheads further."
Ian Crook, business manager, Bath and North East Somerset Council
School meal take-up
- The average FFLP school saw school meal take-up rise by 3.7 percentage points in their first year and by 5.0 percentage points over two years.The impact was greatest in secondary schools (+5.7 percentage points), schools achieving our Gold awards (+6.1 percentage points) and the most disadvantaged quintile of schools (+7.1percentage points) (Orme et al, 2011,p.99).
- These increases mostly occurred from 2007/08–2008/9 when national school meal take-up fell by 3.7 percentage points in primary schools and by 2.6% in secondary schools.