School Food Standards

The new School Food Standards have been mandatory in all maintained schools and new academies and free schools since January 2015 with Governors responsible for ensuring these are being met. They are designed to make it easier for school cooks to create imaginative, flexible and nutritious menus. 

Meeting these standards is part of the FFL award criteria, so by achieving an award, you are also demonstrating that you are meeting these new standards. 

The new standards include:

  • One or more portions of vegetables or salad as an accompaniment every day 
  • At least three different fruits, and three different vegetables each week 
  • An emphasis on wholegrain foods in place of refined carbohydrates 
  • An emphasis on making water the drink of choice 
  • Limiting fruit juice portions to 150ml
  • Restricting the amount of added sugars or honey in other drinks to five percent 
  • No more than two portions a week of food that has been deep-fried, batter-coated or  breadcrumb-coated. 
  • No more than two portions of food which include pastry each week.

The Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark is cited within the new school food standards as a framework that helps cooks and caterers to show they meet the school food standards as well as demonstrate their commitment to serving fresh, traceable, sustainably sourced food.

You'll find the full school food standards and accompanying guidance here.