Food and drink in schools: consultation analysis report

An analysis of responses given on the nutritional requirements for food and drink in schools.

Background To The Consultation

Since our school food and drink Regulations were first introduced in primary schools in 2008 and secondary schools in 2009, the scientific and dietary advice on which they were based has changed. This includes the recommendations from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) on Energy[1], Carbohydrates and Health[2] and Iron and Health[3] which led to the Scottish Dietary Goals being updated and accepted by the Scottish Ministers in 2016.

In 2017, a short life technical working group (TWG) was convened to review the current school food and drink Regulations. The TWG put the health and wellbeing of children and young people at the heart of their considerations. Their approach was to bring the school food and drink Regulations in closer alignment with the Scottish Dietary Goals, using the most up-to-date scientific evidence base and knowledge of current school food practices.

The TWG presented their report and recommendations to the Scottish Ministers who were keen to ensure everyone who felt they had something to contribute to this work were provided with an opportunity to do so through a public consultation.

The consultation contained five open questions designed to seek views on four key themes (increase access to fruit and vegetables, reduce access to sugar, set a maximum level for provision of red and red processed meat, and amending the way in which secondary school food and drink is provided) that underpinned the recommendations made by the TWG in their report. The consultation dealt with aspects of the nutritional content of food and drink provided in schools. It did not seek comments about how food and drink is delivered in schools, for example, dining hall facilities, provenance, procurement or length of the school lunch break, which is covered by the guidance document ‘Better Eating, Better Learning - a new context for school food’. It also did not seek comment relating to food education, such as cooking skills, which is delivered through Curriculum for Excellence and cannot be addressed by making changes to the school food and drink Regulations. However, these areas were subject to many comments.



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