Criteria And Guidance

Food for Life awards are centred around four areas of development, which link to the criteria – creating an action framework for your school:

  • Food leadership
  • Food quality
  • Food education
  • Food culture and community involvement

Here’s just a summary of what your school will achieve to get an award at each of the levels – you can read the full criteria here.

BRONZE schools:
  • Serve school meals with seasonal ingredients that are at least 75% freshly prepared 
  • Involve pupils and parents in planning improvements to school menus and the lunchtime experience, boosting school meal take-up
  • Give every pupil the opportunity to visit a local farm, and take part in cooking and food growing activity
SILVER schools:
  • Serve school meals on proper crockery, not plastic ‘flight trays’
  • Meet the Silver Food for Life Catering Mark  which shows that school food is healthy, ethical, and uses some local and organic ingredients
  • Have a cooking club, where pupils get to cook with and eat the produce grown in the school growing area
  • Involve parents and the wider community to get involved in food education via food-themed events
  • Our food is healthy, ethical, and uses local ingredients. We use a minimum of 5% organic ingredients in our menus.

GOLD schools:
  • Act as hubs for their local community, actively involving parents and community groups in cooking and growing activities 
  • Meet the Gold Food for Life Catering Mark which shows the food served is healthy, ethical, uses lots of local ingredients and is animal and climate friendly, including a minimum of 15% organic and 5% free range 
  • Have more than 60% of their pupils choosing to eat a school meal
  • Are actively involved in the life of a local farm and active in planning and growing organic food for the school

"Getting an award has helped schools across England take a stepped approach to transforming food culture"

Criteria and Guidance

Find out more about our Bronze, Silver and Gold criteria, download our valuable guidance and read examples of schools who are already transforming their food culture. Once you have enrolled in the programme, you will also find easy to access information, guidance and resources for every criteria in your personalised online portal.