Universal Free School Meals 2 – Update April 2014

Recently we received a document from the DFE regarding ‘Supporting schools to achieve the ambitions of the School Food Plan’ which we want to share with you and is laid out below.

The School Food Plan, published in July 2013, aims to further increase the quality and take-up of school meals, develop a whole-school food culture in every school, and excite children about good food and cooking so that they can lead healthy lives. 

In December 2013 we invited tenders from organisations to support schools to achieve this. We are pleased to confirm that contracts have been offered to a number of organisations who are today launching the start of their programmes:

1) Three consortia will be supporting at least 2000 junior and secondary schools to increase their school meal take-up:

The Food for Life Partnership will be working with schools, cooks and caterers across the North of England, the Midlands and London.  Using their successful ‘whole school approach’ linking school meals, food education and food culture, school leaders will be supported to develop simple and effective solutions to the reasons pupils or their parents choose not to have school meals.  To find out more and to register your interest visit www.foodforlife.org.uk, email fflp@foodforlife.org.uk or call 0117 314 1580.

The Children’s Food Trust and its partner organisations will be working across the South East, South West and East of England.  Local authority and academy trust staff will be trained to deliver the Trust’s small step improvement programme to eligible schools in their area. Junior schools will also receive the ‘Food Dudes dining experience’ and secondary schools will receive training to develop a bespoke marketing programme to ensure menus and dining facilities appeal to young people. Find out more at:
www.childrensfoodtrust.org.uk/increasetakeup. You can contact the team via 0114 299 6930 or increase.takeup@childrensfoodtrust.org.uk.

The Design & Technology Association, British Nutrition Foundation and Eagle Solutions Services are launching the School Food Champions Programme across England.  Secondary school food teachers will be trained to be the school’s food champions, supporting heads and leadership teams to bring together school food services and cooking and nutrition in the curriculum, including engaging pupils in designing healthier school lunches. To find out more email info@data.org.uk.

2) Support to set up breakfast clubs in schools where over 35% of pupils are eligible for free school meals and there is no existing breakfast provision:

Magic Breakfast deliver healthy breakfasts into schools to make sure no child starts the school day hungry. Magic Breakfast is extending their provision to reach more children and schools, helping over 180 new schools nationwide to set up breakfast provision to ensure every child starts the day with a healthy breakfast as fuel for learning. More information is at www.magicbreakfast.com

Lessons from each of these projects will be used to help others develop their school food provision. More information will be available at www.schoolfoodplan.com.

1 comment on “Universal Free School Meals 2 – Update April 2014

  1. John Lawlor says:

    All good stuff but we need funds NOW to allow us to get the kitchen arrangements in place so that we will be able to cook and provide the meals from September. Time is running out.

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