New School Food Review 2012 - 2013

Posted by Shaleen Meelu on Tuesday, 07 August 2012 in What's On

National School Meal Review

I responded to an article in the Observer written by London based entrepreneurs Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent who have been asked to carry out a national school food review by the Department of Education (click on highlighted links to find out more). We received the following response which we wish to share with those of you who have worked or are working to raise school food and nutrition standards both nationally and internationally. 

Response from Department of Education

Thank you for your e-mail of 8 June addressed to Henry Dimbleby about the action plan for food in schools. Henry has asked me to reply on his behalf.

We appreciate your engagement in the review and the points you have raised will be taken into consideration.

Since Jamie Oliver's first campaign on school food in 2005, schools, caterers, cooks, parents, experts and many others  have driven a marked improvement in the range and nutritional value of the food children eat at school. There has been plenty of excellent research and evidence gathering. Standards have risen. However, there is still some way to go, quality varies across the country, and some schools struggle to serve good-tasting, nutritious food. 

The school food plan will look at good practice across the UK and abroad, drawing heavily on input from sector bodies, existing campaign groups, local authorities, caterers, parents and schools. Henry and John Vincent will put together an action plan which builds upon the successes of the past seven years, accelerates the improvements in school food, and defines the role schools have to play in shaping eating habits, so that all children eating in English schools are offered good food and given an education that cultivates in teham an understanding of food and nutrition. The review will report in 2013.

If you wish to provide any additional information to Henry and John, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write about this important issue.

Your Feedback and Examples of Good Practice

I'm not sure how reviews are carried out by government departments but when we met a joint lead for the NHS Future Forum , he told us they traveled the country meeting projects and people working in health improvement before presenting a series of recommendations. Perhaps Henry and John will do something similar? 

For those of you who are not actively involved in the review but would like to feedback based on your experience, I think it will be useful to present case-studies in relation to 

  • Training caterers and school staff
  • Improving school food standards
  • Promoting healthier eating 
  • Nutrition, food and health education through the curriculum and out-of-hours activities
  • Procurement in relation to school catering
  • What works, what has been difficult and current challenges. 
We forwarded a case study in relation to the Fit for Life project we worked on a few years ago and have circulated the e-mail to our contacts and networks who have been working hard to support improvements in food and nutrition standards and encourage young people to make positive food choices. Please send your thoughts and experiences This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

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Hi, my name is Shaleen Meelu and I am the founder of Healthy Futures. I’m also a registered nutritionist and I have helped over 3,000 people embark upon healthy living programmes.

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