Publication - Research publication

Evaluation of the Food Education Programme (2012-2015)

Published: 23 Mar 2016

Report evaluating how all nine projects have contributed to the programme’s overall outcomes.

119 page PDF

1.8 MB

119 page PDF

1.8 MB

Evaluation of the Food Education Programme (2012-2015)
Annex 7: Food and Health Development Officer - Education Scotland

119 page PDF

1.8 MB

Annex 7: Food and Health Development Officer - Education Scotland

Background to the project

432. This section provides background information to the funded Food and Health Development Officer from Education Scotland. It describes how the project came to life, discusses the project's aims, outcomes and budget.

Project description

433. A Food and Health Development Officer within Education Scotland was supported with the overall aim of becoming a key driver on support to teachers and others in private/public sector on food as a topic for (interdisciplinary) learning.

Project objectives

434. Specifically, the specific objectives of the project were to:

  • promote the use of food as a topic for learning across CfE
  • provide advice on education programmes on food education
  • provide advice to steering groups of Scottish Government Food Education projects
  • provide advice on food related qualifications
  • act as a liaison between food stakeholders and the education community
  • provide CPD on food related topics and
  • work with Science Development Officer to strengthen links between science and food as a topic particularly in the creation of resources and food security qualifications


435. The Scottish Government provided a total of £200,000 of funding over the financial period 2012-15 (£70,000 in Year 1, and £65,000 in Year 2 and Year 3).

Progress on project delivery

436. Progress on project delivery, was assessed using information gathered from various data provided, which included:

  • Individual projects' progress against targets set by the Scottish Government
  • Individual projects' achievement of project aims
  • Feedback on challenges faced
  • Feedback from the target populations on successful delivery and satisfaction
  • Identification of characteristics/features of successful projects

Achievement of project targets/objectives

437. From the reports submitted to Scottish Government, targets appeared to have been met and continuous improvements were planned. The project had a very busy agenda and the coordinator reported that it benefitted from two people delivering this agenda in 2014-15.

438. The table below provides a detailed list of progress towards the targets set by the project.

Table 30: Food and Health Development Officer progress towards achieving targets

Target Progress Status
Home Economics Glow Support Piloted and launched Career Long Professional Learning ( CLPL) events to use Glow to enhance teaching and learning. New GLOW launches early October 2014 Achieved
Food and Health CLPL Support schools as requested with CLPL, in service, twilights and planning Achieved
Food and Science Working with partners to make stronger food and science links to enhance health & interdisciplinary learning about food. Achieved through Teachmeets events Achieved
Cooking Bus Working in collaboration with Focus on Food Cooking Bus Team to offer dedicated CLPL weeks for practitioners Achieved
Beyond the School Gates Attendance at meetings, input as requested Achieved/on going
Online Health and Food Survey To identify areas of strengths/resources used/partners collaborations currently happening in schools and to identify gaps, challenges, barriers and next steps (Report November 2014) Achieved
Food Education Stakeholders at the Scottish Learning Festival ( SLF) Yearly event to celebrate and share innovative practice with schools who have with Food Education Partners Achieved
Food for Thought as an online resource Create the poster as an online resource with links to websites, video clips, teaching resources and cases studies. Updated on a yearly basis Achieved
Support Chefs@School Support the design of the scheme and promotion to schools Achieved
Growing Food in Schools Consider a range of approaches to supporting food growing activities, particularly with children and families in the context of CfE.
Update their knowledge of emerging practice in food growing
Create online guidance and practical support for food growing projects.
Achieved/on going
Links to Year of Food & Drink Links with Scottish Government, Education Scotland, Event Scotland, Young Scot, SRUC, Scottish Enterprise to engage children and young people with the Year of Food and Drink. Achieved
To act as a liaison between food stakeholders and the education community FEP meetings organised and newsletter distributed, Scottish Learning Festival held, links developed and joint working with FSA, Chefs@School, QMS, Royal Horticultural Society, Cyrenians, REHIS and many others. Achieved/on going
Better Eating, Better Learning Three year project (starting in August 2013) looking at the six pathfinder schools make with BEBL Partly achieved/on going


439. The main challenge faced was around the limited amount of resources (i.e. personnel) allocated to the project. The post was filled through secondments and had at times been vacant. Furthermore, for some of time there was only one person available to deliver both the Food for Thought Fund and the Development Officer role.

440. The project coordinator reported that from the schools point of view a challenge had been around adjusting to the new qualifications and understanding how courses should look like. By employing two home economic teachers to address the food related topic, Education Scotland could offer a wide range of resources and tailored support to schools.

441. Another challenge specific to secondary schools was around encouraging cross-curricular working. The project coordinator stated that it would be good to have stronger head teachers' support in secondary schools to broaden understanding of what food education is beyond nutrition.

442. Other challenges faced by home economic teachers were around both in terms of time and money, and also limited training for staff.

443. Furthermore, teachers were finding it more and more difficult to attend events organised during the week due to concerns with class cover. The project therefore received greater sign up for Saturday events, such as Adding Flavour to 2014, Grow, Cook, Eat event along with other Health and Wellbeing planned events. Many of the Saturday events were oversubscribed and had to be delivered again.

Feedback from target audiences

444. The project collected feedback form teachers at many of the events they organised. Response rate to the events ranged from 30% to 60%.

445. Initial reactions to the events were on the whole very positive and enthusiastic. Events were found useful particularly for: raising awareness of the range of resources available, generating ideas for lessons and updating lesson plans, networking and making useful contacts, increasing personal knowledge and confidence.

446. The Teachmeet events, in particular, received a very positive response (n=20-80). The vast majority of teachers who responded to the survey said:

  • They would recommend attending a similar session to a colleague
  • They found the session was relevant to CfE
  • The session increased their confidence in using food as a learning resource
  • The session increased their knowledge of food education
  • The session has encouraged them to use food as a learning resource

Key features of success

447. Over the time the project has run, a strong stakeholder community has been created. This has been maintained through constant communication not only online but also through events and regular meetings.

448. The network of contacts was important for disseminating information to schools but also in receiving feedback.

449. The project also managed to encourage collaboration among all food education partners by ensuring that resources were shared and that they worked together to engage the highest number of schools.

450. Through the Development Officer role, a wide range of activities were organised, multiple resources were created and many opportunities were provided for teachers to learn about food and how to use food as a topic for interdisciplinary learning.

Progress on Programme Outcomes

451. The focus of the Food and Health Development Officer role is on embeddedness.


452. A wide range of activities have occurred over the course of the project in order to establish food as topic for interdisciplinary learning. This included: promotion, providing advice on education programmes and acting as a liaison between food stakeholders and the education community. Progress on each of these areas is summarised below:


453. In order to promote food as a topic for interdisciplinary learning, many activities took place and resources were created. Most evident: the recent launch of Food For Thought online resources, established links with Year of Food and Drink, Teachmeets events focusing on developing Young Workforce in the industry, a new GLOW website launched early October 2014 and online Learning Journeys created (on the Food & Health online pages of Education Scotland).

454. The resources appeared to have received very positive feedback by their users (i.e. teachers), demonstrated by the high number of downloads and visits to the website. Nearly 5,000 downloads were recorded during Years 2 and 3.

455. Indeed, hard copies of leaflets and posters used as part of the Food for Thought Fund had to be re-printed due to the high level of demand.

456. Constant promotion and communication took place to guide education professionals as well as those in the food and drink industry towards the resources. This was delivered, for example, through major events such as Teachmeet, food education partner meetings, via the Health and Wellbeing Network or via CPD sessions with teachers.

457. There was also evidence of collaboration between Education Scotland and other food education partners (such as Chefs at Schools, RHET, Crofting Connections or SFDF) to develop and promote resources.

458. A wide range of activities were organised and managed by the Development Officer. When collated, feedback was positive and encouraging. The table below provides details over time of the overall number of staff engaged through various activities. However, it should be noted that figures provided were not tracked consistently throughout all events conducted; as such they are only indicative of engagement.

Table 31: Education Scotland Development Officer - Number of teacher opportunities

FEP: Year 1 2012-13 FEP: Year 2 2013-14 FEP: Year 3 2014-15
Number of teachers, catering staff, HWB leads, head teachers or even parents involved in CPD or educational related activities 1,210 770 1,570


459. A range of roles and activities took place in this respect. It should be noted that the advice role was wide ranging across multiple types of education establishments and with varying degrees of depth. The activities described below were chosen as exemplars for good practice, but they only represent a small proportion of the overall advisory role covered by the Development Officer role.

  • Food Education Network: The Development Officer was responsible for co-ordinating and planning food education partner meetings to share current projects & update on progress/joint planning and working. A newsletter was sent quarterly as a result of these encounters. A leaflet was also available and was well received by Local Authorities.
  • Better Eating, Better Learning ( BEBL): This was a three year project looking at the journey eight pathfinder clusters make with BEBL. In conjunction with the Health and Nutrition Inspectors, the eight clusters were identified and a local partnership agreement was put in place for this project.
  • Home Economics National Support: A Home Economist Lead Officer was identified in every Local Authority across Scotland. Network meetings took place regularly and information was shared nationally.
  • Grow, Cook, Eat in schools: intelligence was gathered from a large number of organisations/local authorities/individuals around process and procedure for overcoming barriers to cooking food grown in schools. A set of guidelines were being prepared during 2014-15. A range of events to inform teachers also took place over 2013-15. From evidence collected by Education Scotland, there appeared to be an appetite for this and those sessions already conducted received very positive feedback.

Liaison activities

460. Since the project started, there was evidence of collaboration between Education Scotland and other food education partners. This happened not only through quarterly meetings and newsletters (see above), but also through tailored help to help with resource development and support in delivery of specific activities.

461. The remit of the Development Officer covered partners from the whole FEP, and beyond this also supported Food For Life Scotland, Cooking Bus and Scottish Council for Development Industry ( SCDI). Furthermore, there were links and joint working with FSA and QMS as well as the Royal Horticultural Society, Cyrenians, Glasgow Lightlhouse and Stirling University among others.

462. Furthermore, the Development Officer was heavily involved in the Health and Wellbeing National Network by sharing up to date guidance and advice around food education and providing guidance at a local authority level too.


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