School food nutrition

Review of regulations.

A review of school food and drink nutritional standards is underway, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has confirmed.

Scotland already has very strict regulations governing food and drink served in schools, which are among the most stringent in Europe.

Now, experts from Food Standards Scotland, NHS Health Scotland and Education Scotland are considering whether school food provision can be further improved.

Announcing the creation of a short-life working group ahead of International School Meals Day on 9 March, Mr Swinney said:

“School food matters, in terms of what children eat and what they learn about. With almost 366,000 school meals served up in Scottish schools every day we must ensure nutritional standards are the best they can be. I also want children, especially primary pupils, to have as many of their ‘five a day’ as they can and for food to be sourced as locally as possible.

“Since our internationally-admired school meal regulations were introduced in 2008, the scientific evidence and dietary advice has changed. Nearly a decade on, the time is right to review whether school food provision can be further improved.

“The short-life working group I have established is examining the scientific and technical detail of the latest evidence and advice regarding nutritional standards. Once that group reports back this summer, I will then seek the views of young people, parents, industry, catering and other stakeholder groups before taking forward any potential changes.”


The short-life technical working group comprises: Education Scotland’s Health and Nutrition Inspector; NHS Health Scotland’s Organisational Lead for Diet and Obesity Prevention; and Food Standards Scotland’s Head of Nutrition Science and Policy. It is expected to report to Scottish Ministers in summer 2017.

International School Meals Day is managed by Children in Scotland and supported by the Scottish Government. Follow the conversation at #ISMD2017.



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