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Back to school - but how healthy are they?


As children go back to school, how sure are we that they're learning in a healthy food environment? Is there still cake on every lunch menu? What about breakfast clubs, mid-morning snacks and school fundraisers? Should schools just be water and milk only, and ditch all sugary drinks? Children's Food Campaign shares a few thoughts on how schools can act to drive a consistently healthy message to pupils.Read more....
Is your school signing up for the new Healthy Schools Ratings Scheme?
With the new academic year underway, we're looking to make contact with headteachers and schools in England planning to participate in the new test 'beta-version' of the Government's Healthy Schools Ratings Scheme. This has been launched as a self-assessment set of questions for schools to complete as part of Sport England's Active Lives: Children and Young People Survey. To participate, you need to be registered with your local Active Partnership - to take part in the Autumn term, you need to register by early October. Children's Food Campaign is supporting our member School Food Matters to conduct additional research with schools to find out their experience of participating, and their suggestions for improving the scheme, so that we can share this directly with the Department for Education. If you would like to contribute to our research on this, then please do get in touch by clicking the link below and filling out the details. Thanks for your help.
What is happening to Soft Drinks Industry Levy income?
In 2020-21, the Soft Drinks Industry Levy is forecast to raise £340 million, but the Chancellor Sajid Javid's Spending Round announcement in September failed to state how money would continue to be ringfenced for spending on programmes to improve children’s health and food. The Treasury has now confirmed that the Department for Education budget for 2020-21 includes the money from the levy, but there is no public commitment yet on how this money is going to be allocated. Read on...
Will school children go short of food in a no-deal Brexit?
The health of millions of UK children could be at risk if supplies of food to schools are not protected from a no-deal Brexit, top chefs and food charities warned in August. Over 40 organisations, food and health professionals wrote an open letter published in the Sunday Times, pointing out that the government has predicted possible shortages of fresh food, price rises and consumer panic buying in the event of no-deal. This scenario was reinforced last week with the publication of Operation Yellowhammer documents. This week, a letter from the Department for Education was criticised by school leaders for saying local authorities and schools themselves were responsible for ensuring their food systems were able to withstand a no-deal Brexit food shock, but offered no additional support. Read Sustain's CEO, Kath Dalmeny 's blog on this subject: our alliance will continue to lobby for a hardship fund to support food insecure households, plus adequate funding for school meals and public food programmes programmes for vulnerable people (hospitals, care homes).
In other news... And don't forget...
The National Food Strategy call for evidence is now open until 25th October for any organisation, community group, professional or individual member of the public to share their ideas for building our future food and farming system.

Photo byJosh HildonUnsplash

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