Ofsted recognise healthy eating in new handbooks

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The new Ofsted inspection framework, published today, will require that inspectors assess whether pupils ‘know how to eat healthily’. This follows pressure from Food for Life along with campaign partners Sustain, School Food Matters and Jamie Oliver.

The new additions to the handbook highlight that to achieve a ‘good’ rating for personal development, pupils should know how to eat healthily. One extract reads:  

    In order to be judged good (2) for personal development, the following apply: 

    The school provides high-quality pastoral support. Pupils know how to eat healthily, maintain an active lifestyle and keep physically and mentally healthy. They have an age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships.

The additions to the handbooks, which will take effect from September 2019, are a step in the right direction, and are welcomed by Food for Life.  But they do not go far enough. Food for Life has urged Ofsted to ensure that inspectors make a judgement on whether school leaders support an environment where pupil health and well-being is “consistently and actively promoted through policies and action of the whole school community.”

The School Food Plan also suggested that all schools should implement a ‘whole school approach’ to good food. Food for Life has been pioneering a whole school approach to real food and healthy eating for over a decade.

Rob Percival, Head of Policy, Food and Farming, says “Ofsted inspectors will be required to consider whether schools are developing pupil understanding of healthy eating. This is hugely welcome.

But there is so much more that Ofsted could be doing. Food for Life estimates that 60% of secondary schools are failing to comply with the School Food Standards. Only 26% of schools are implementing the practical cookery requirements of the National Curriculum.

The inclusion of healthy eating within the handbook nevertheless sends schools a message that food education is important. The team at Food For Life are at hand and able to assist schools and their teachers with improving the healthy eating of pupils, and working towards a higher Ofsted rating.”

The Food for Life school award works to embed food education throughout the school day. Kids have the chance to grow their own veg, see where their food comes from and learn to cook. By working with everyone involved in school life, including parents, kids, caterers, cooks and teachers, Food for Life nurture a community where everyone has the chance to see the positive impact of healthy eating. It’s no wonder kids in Food for Life schools are twice as likely to eat their five a day than kids in comparison schools.

Let us help you achieve a ‘good’ rating for personal development from Ofsted. Sign up for a Food for Life School Award today.