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Food: Schools

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 24 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what funding his Department has allocated for the creation of school allotments for the purpose of growing food; (318512)

(2) what steps his Department has taken to assist teachers in setting up food-growing schemes in schools.

The Government have supported the “Growing Schools” programme since 2001. The programme provides easy access to a wide range of curriculum-based resources and a comprehensive continuous professional development programme for teachers. In the last three years this has been funded at £350,000 per annum. It is up to schools to identify suitable space for food growing.

DEFRA announced in the Government’s new Food Strategy (Food 2030), published in early January, that it would be providing further support to the programme. The new DEFRA funding will build the capacity of the programme and enable a further 65,000 pupils, parents and staff to gain hands-on experience of growing food. This will be included as part of a forthcoming tender exercise which will appoint the contractor for the next phase of the programme.