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School Meals

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidance schools have been given on the implementation of the Healthy Eating in Schools paper; and how much has been spent on that implementation. (316092)

In March 2006, Ofsted published its report ‘Healthy Eating in Schools', which assessed how schools had responded to guidance on school meals and healthier eating.

The report made a small number of recommendations relating to: the training of catering staff; lunch time management and the dining environment; school food policies; involvement of pupils and parents and quality monitoring by schools. Those recommendations have all been addressed over the course of the last four years, during which time mandatory standards have been introduced for all maintained primary, secondary and special schools, covering all food served by schools during a school day.

A number of pieces of guidance have been produced by the School Food Trust, as the Department's key delivery partner, including: A Fresh Look at the School Meal Experience; Guide to the Nutrient-based Standards for School Lunches; Nutritional Analysis Support Package (NASP); Calculating the Nutrient Content of School Lunch Recipes: A Caterer's Guide; and Special Educational Needs Schools guidance.

There has been significant government investment of over £676 million between 2005 and 2011. This includes funding to help support the cost of a school lunch, to help build or refurbish kitchen and dining facilities, to better support the development of training centres for the school food work force and for improved marketing and communications to increase take up.