Nutritional Requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland) Regulations 2020: equalities impact assessment

An equalities impact assessment carried out for the Nutritional Requirements for food and drink in schools (Scotland) Regulations 2020 to ensure that impact on protected characteristics was considered as part of the development of the Regulations.


Policy Aim

The policy aim is to replace The Nutritional Requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland) Regulations 2008, following on from the report on the Technical Working Group's review of those regulations.

The current school food regulations first came into effect in 2008. Since they were introduced, scientific evidence has emerged linking excessive consumption of red and red processed meat with colorectal cancer in later life. Also, excessive consumption of foods high in sugar content are linked to an increased risk of poor oral health, weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Scottish Ministers commissioned a Technical Working Group to review the 2008 regulations in November 2016. The Group presented its recommendations to Scottish Ministers at the end of 2017 and they agreed to accept them. A public consultation was carried out by the Scottish Government between 4 June and 29 August 2018. The consultation received 1,359 responses and the majority of those agreed with all the proposals, either fully or in part.

The proposed regulations will cover all food and drink served or sold in schools. This applies not only to school lunches, but also to food served at all other times of the day. This includes food and drink served outside normal school hours, such as at breakfast clubs and in residential school accommodation where evening meals are provided. The proposed provisions would not cover food brought into schools, such as packed lunches, however schools can set their own policies to raise awareness of and promote healthy packed lunches.

Who will it affect?

The policy will benefit all children of school age at local authority run or grant-maintained schools in Scotland, where they choose to take school meals. The 2020 regulations will benefit children and young people in primary, secondary and special schools, and also where they are living in accommodation provided by the school where food is served outwith normal school hours. Since the policy only applies to school food, this means that it will not apply to either younger pre-school children, or young people aged 16 to 18 who have left school.

What might prevent the desired outcomes being achieved?

We have not identified any causes which would prevent the proposed regulations from being implemented.



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