The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Department for Education (DfE) have launched a School Food Standards Compliance pilot across 18 participating local authorities in England.
The pilot was initially announced in the Levelling Up White Paper earlier this year, which set out the Government’s mission to transform the UK into a more equal society.
The joint initiative, supported by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), aims to design and test a new approach in supporting schools to comply with the existing School Food Standards.
Local authorities taking part this term have begun introducing some additional questions, as well as making observations related to the School Food Standards.
This could include nutrition-focused questions and observations such as menu checks.
These additional questions and observations would identify any potential non-compliance with the School Food Standards.
Local Authorities will then work with schools to instigate supportive interventions to aid compliance with the standards.
The pilot will run in line with the full academic year.
Professor Susan Jebb, FSA Chair, welcomed the 18 local authorities’ participation, said:
“Schools play a crucial role in providing children with healthy food to help them concentrate and thrive in the classroom and beyond.
“We all want to ensure that the food served in schools meets the standards that have been set.
“This project will give insight into what’s happening in schools today and identify whether additional support is needed to help them to do the very best they can for children and drive positive change in the school food system.”
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said:
“A healthy school meal supports a child’s development. This pilot will help schools meet the school food standards and will ensure more schools offer balanced and nutritious meals to support education throughout the day.”
The authorities selected to participate in the pilot are:
Lincolnshire County Council
City of Lincoln Council
Plymouth City Council
Nottingham City Council
Royal Borough of Greenwich
Derbyshire County Council*
Derbyshire Dales District Council
City of Wolverhampton Council
City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
Telford and Wrekin Council
Chelmsford City Council
South Tyneside Council
Peterborough City Council
Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council