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School Food Policy

School Food Policy


1. Responsibilities

At Blue Coat we recognise the important connection between healthy eating and a pupil’s ability to learn effectively and achieve high standards in school. We also recognise the role the school can play, as part of the larger community, to promote family health.

We recognise that sharing food is a fundamental experience for all people; a primary way to nurture and celebrate our cultural diversity; and an excellent bridge for building friendships, and inter-generational bonds.


2. Mission

Our educational mission is to contribute towards improving the health of the entire community by teaching pupils and families ways to establish and maintain life-long healthy eating habits. This shall be accomplished through a whole school approach centred on food education and skills (such as cooking and growing food), the food served in schools and core content in the classroom through subjects such as science, DT and PSHCE.


3. Aims

3.1  To improve the health of pupils, staff and their families by helping to influence their eating habits through increasing their knowledge and awareness of food issues, including what constitutes healthy eating.

3.2  To provide an opportunity for pupils to plan recipes, budget, prepare and cook food.

3.3  To increase pupils' knowledge of food production, manufacturing, distribution and marketing practices, and their impact on both health and the environment.

3.4  To ensure pupils are well nourished at school, and that every pupil has access to safe, tasty, and nutritious food, and a safe, easily available water supply during the school day.

3.5  To ensure that food provision in the school reflects the ethical and medical requirements of staff and pupils e.g. religious, ethnic, vegetarian, medical, and allergenic needs.

3.6  To make the provision and consumption of food an enjoyable and safe experience in a pleasurable and dedicated environment.

3.7  To introduce and promote practices within the school to reinforce these aims, and to remove or discourage practices that do not support them.

3.8  To monitor menus and food choices to inform policy development and provision.


4. Objectives

4.1 To work towards ensuring that this policy is both accepted and embraced by

§         School management

§         Governors

§         Teachers and support staff

§         Pupils

§         Parents

§         Food provider (currently Scolarest)

§         The school's wider community


4.2 To integrate these aims into all aspects of school life, in particular

§         All food provision within the school

§         The curriculum

§         Pastoral and social activities


5. Methods

5.1 An effective structure to oversee the development, implementation, and monitoring of this policy is established, and a participatory approach to meeting the objectives is encouraged. Consultation is ensured throughout the process with priority given to the views of pupils. 

This is achieved by:

§         The PSHCE Co-ordinator (and Headteacher) taking lead responsibility in ensuring the implementation and monitoring of this policy, including facilitating consultation with all interested parties.

§         Taking a whole school approach to ensuring full implementation, including discussion within lesson time, working together with the food service provider (currently Scolarest), and ensuring consistent messages permeate through all aspects of the pastoral and social care within school.

§         Regular meetings of the School Nutrition Action Group (SNAG) to discuss school food issues (which includes pupils, parents, teachers, governors, School Cook, a representative from the school meal provider (Scolarest) and a representative from the Local Authority).  The ‘Food for Thought’ pack has been used to establish the role of the group.  The group explores pupil preferences through surveys, taste tests etc. and considers these findings when planning menus and snacks.

§         Including in reports to governors and information to parents (where appropriate):

§         Description of the level of service.

§         Meal uptake.

§         School meal promotion marketing plan.

§         Progress in meeting food policy goals.

§         Quality and type of food being served.

§         Results of pupil consultation.


5.2 An understanding and ethos within the school of safe, tasty, nutritious, environmentally sustainable food, through both education and example is being developed.

Activities within the curriculum, including:

·        Art, e.g. observation drawings of food, healthy eating poster design

·        Personal Social and Health Education, e.g. menu planning, nutrition, food safety, cultural diversity (also covered within RE)

·        Design and Technology, e.g. cooking, menu planning

·        English, e.g. food diaries, following instructions

·        Geography, e.g. what food grows where, food miles, transporting food, Fair Trade issues, waste, recycling

·        History, e.g. past diets, discoveries

·        Information Technology, e.g. recording results of a food survey, website review

·        Maths, e.g. weights and measures

·        Physical Education, e.g. links between healthy eating and exercise

·        Science, e.g. effects of heat on food, plant growth, nutrition, food hygiene (e.g. common food poisons, bacterial growth, contamination, washing hands, temperatures, storage, cleaning and disinfectant, pests)

Other activities that support curriculum work, including:

§         Tasting sessions (integrate a range of eating experiences into classroom work, e.g. tasting fruits and vegetables, food from other countries/cultures, etc.)

§         Cooking demonstrations (e.g. Expo Chef)

§         Healthy eating drama activities

§         Healthy eating projects

§         School website with pages on food issues and links to other related sites

§         Debates / guest speakers

§         School garden (give pupils the opportunity to plant, harvest, prepare, cook and eat the food they grow).


5.3 An environment, both physical and social, conducive to the enjoyment of safe, tasty, nutritious and affordable food is created.

In order to do this we regularly consider:


§         Our current on-site food provision and whether it needs to change.

§         The way the services we provide meet the religious, ethnic, vegetarian, medical and allergenic needs of pupils and staff.

§         Staff training needs for basic nutrition and food hygiene.


  • Our dining area to ensure it is always safe, pleasant, comfortable, attractive and clean. 
  • The training of new lunchtime supervisors and the way they are allocated to specific year groups.
  • The way lunchtimes are organised in order to ensure pupils have as much choice as possible and have sufficient time to eat and that systems facilitate a calm and settled environment, but with opportunities for pupils to be sociable.
  • The way we encourage good manners and respect for staff and fellow pupils (monthly Good Manners Award).
  • Putting arrangements in place for recycling of waste.

School lunch choices

  • Whether they meet government nutritional guidelines.
  • Monitoring the quality of the meals and checking availability throughout the serving period.
  • The way we communicate and feedback to the school meals provider (Scolarest).
  • Our guidelines on healthy packed lunches (including discouraging fizzy drinks, full fat crisps, chocolate and sweets).  We refer to ‘Pack a Punch’ leaflet in ‘Food for Thought’ pack and the ‘Eatwell’ website.
  • The ways we ensure maximum uptake of meals and that all pupils entitled to a free meal receive one. This is done through parental information / communication, meals promotions and procedures to protect identity of free meal claimants.  We ensure that we carefully monitor uptake and respond to changes in numbers.

Other food provision

  • The way we promote and organise the Cool Milk Scheme.
  • The food choices we offer at after school clubs/school events.
  • Inviting parents to join pupils at meal times.
  • The opportunities there are for people involved in the school food policy to share their experiences and good practice.

Water issues

  • The number and safety of water coolers.
  • The regular testing of the water.
  • Our pupil access policy (to ensure accessibility throughout the school day of plain water – children are encouraged to fill water bottles before school, during breaks/lunchtime and can drink during independent/group work sections of lessons).
  • Ensuring water breaks during sport/exercise activities.
  • The hygiene of water bottles (ensuring pupils take them home regularly to be properly cleaned).

We also consider all aspects of food hygiene in school (please see appendix). 

(We use the ‘Food for Thought’ pack (also available at and ‘Food in Schools Toolkit’ ( ) for further ideas. 


Signed ……………………….………………………………....... Head Teacher


Signed……………………………………………………………..Chair of Governors


Signed…………………………………………………..…………Pupil Representative


Date April 2007

Policy to be reviewed April 2009

Adapted from: The Grab 5! Model School Food Policy ( )

Appendix: Food Hygiene


Food Hygiene

Points we consider:

  • Lead responsibility
    • The Headteacher is responsible for ensuring compliance with these requirements. 
  • Requirement on all providers
    The providers of food services (Scolarest) meet the following requirements:

§         All the staff employed in food preparation hold a basic food hygiene certificate.

§         Staff are supervised by someone holding an advanced food hygiene certificate or equivalent.

§         A documented food safety management system is in operation and observed at all times and a copy of this is available for inspection.

§         All regulations appertaining to food hygiene are complied with.


  • Additional requirements on school meal providers:

§         A full independent food hygiene inspection is carried out of the food storage, meal preparation and food serving areas and a copy of the inspectors' report is provided to the school.

§         They have a cleaning and disinfectant schedule that can be inspected.


  • Pupils

§         Pupils reminded to wash their hands every time they go to the toilet.

§         Pupils wash their hands before they eat food.


  • Classroom food handling and preparation

§         We have a list of “do's” and “don’ts”.


  • Food Poisoning

§         We follow the Durham County Council procedure in the event of an outbreak (found on the Extranet).