Food for Life has today (5th April) called on Ofsted to embed good food and healthy eating within its inspection framework for 2019. Ofsted began consulting on the draft framework in January, with the consultation closing today.
In our consultation response, Food for Life has joined School Food Matters, Jamie Oliver, and Sustain, in saying that Ofsted inspectors should consider how schools are supporting children to keep themselves healthy, including through school meals and food education.
Ofsted’s survey of food education last year found that only 26% of schools are implementing the practical cookery requirements of the National Curriculum. Food for Life estimates that as many as 60% of secondary schools might be non-compliant with the School Food Standards.
Food for Life is calling for several changes to the Ofsted handbook, including the following addition:
“Inspectors will make a judgement on the effectiveness of leadership and management by evaluating the extent to which… leaders create 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 suggested that all schools should implement a ‘whole school approach’ to good food. Food for Life schools have been pioneering such an approach for over a decade, demonstrating its potential to improve diets and attainment, and alleviate inequalities.
Rob Percival, Head of Policy for Food for Life, said: “Ofsted has a critically important role to play in improving food in schools. School leaders are under a statutory obligation to seek evidence of compliance with the School Food Standards, but with few incentives from government, food and food education are often neglected. The changes we’ve suggested to the 2019 Ofsted framework could help to put that right.”