Changes to the BRONZE, SILVER and GOLD Schools Award criteria

Changes to our criteria

At the most recent Standards Committee some proposed changes to the current criteria around cooking and school meals were approved, we have now implemented five changes to the standards.

Firstly, a number of primary schools are serving a cold meal option as part of their catering service, alongside hot options. Cold meal options can be served within the strictures of the School Food Standards, but there is no guarantee that they are good quality. Food for Life will incentivise more strongly the provision for hot meal options and higher quality cold meal options, where these are served.
  • Criterion S2.2 will be amended to include an extra sentence regarding hot meals: We ensure take up of schools meals by pupils registered for free school meals is 90% or higher, and we are taking action to raise general school meal take up and encourage pupils towards a variety of hot meal options, where appropriate.
Secondly, the current cooking criteria were written before cooking and food education became compulsory in the national curriculum for pupils up to the end of key stage 3. The cooking criteria throughout our awards are therefore being refreshed in light of the new requirements, and Food for Life’s commitment to ensuring cooking on the curriculum is of a high standard. 
  • Criterion B3.1 will focus on the required cooking to be delivered in line with the whole school approach to food: Our pupils take part in regular cooking activities that meet the Cooking and Nutrition requirements of the Design and Technology programme of study and this is linked to our whole school approach to food.
  • Criterion S3.0 will encourage schools to start to build pupils cooking skills across the year groups and focus on the ingredients being used in cooking activities: Our cooking activities aim to build skills and knowledge progressively over key stages 1-3 and incorporate seasonal, local and organic ingredients.
  • Criterion S3.2 includes a minor language adjustment: We have produce from our school growing area at least once a term for pupils to use in cooking activities.
  • Criterion G3.0 has been adjusted to ensure we are looking for good quality cooking activities rather than simply quantity, we are still aiming to see 10-12 hours of cooking for every pupil every year: We take a skills-based approach to cooking education that builds on learning year to year. Pupils throughout key stages 1-3 prepare a wide range of foods. We place emphasis on making healthy, nutritious dishes using school-grown, local, seasonal, and organic produce.
These changes have been approved and amended through our independent standards committee. To find out more about the standards committee please contact Rob Percival, Senior Policy Officer at Food for Life.