Great Results for School Food Champions

Published 3rd December 2015

The School Food Champions Programme now in its eighth half term is continuing to show creativity and passion for school food across the country.  The pilot programme is funded by the DfE and focuses on supporting a School Food Champion (usually the Food Teacher) to increase their school meal uptake in their Secondary School by 5%.

Champions are encouraged to engage with pupils, parents and staff on the school food experiences in their school, through holding competitions, changing menus, including school food in the curriculum as well as creating student groups that work together to increase the school meal uptake.

The programme is seeing some fantastic activities supported by substantial increases in meal uptake.  Eloise Packer at Holyrood  Academy has recently held a design a Bento Box (a Japanese style “packed meal” which usually includes rice fish or meat) competition for inclusion on the lunch time menu.  Holyrood has seen increases of over 15% since joining the programme in May 2015 and are one of eleven schools to achieve an increase of over 5% for three or more half terms.

Holly Hall School had been experiencing some issues with lengthy queues in their dining room so the champion Sophie Milosorov and the catering team introduced a loyalty card scheme for “grab bags” pupils had the choice of free fruit juice or fruit pots when they purchased five bags.  In its early stages sales of the grab bags more than doubled helping to reduce the queue time considerably.  Sophie is continuing to promote the grab bags and has seen an increase of over 5% for the last two half terms.

Forty eight schools are completing activities within their schools and are providing the uptake data to support their activities.

The following schools have now completed a full year on the programme with seven of them achieving increases for more than three consecutive half terms.  A fantastic achievement for the champions, their schools, the pupils and the canteen staff;

Brentwood County High School – Jenny Ruth

Eastlea Community School – Karina Doherty

Forest Gate Community School – Nick Shapland

Heaton Manor – Debra Robinson

James Calvert Spence College – Gill Lawrie

Mount Carmel Catholic High School – Helen Clarke

Welland Park Academy – Kathy Dare

Whitefield School – Adele James

Some of these champions have continued to expand their activities in school food through engaging with programmes such as the Healthy Schools London a programme sponsored by The Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

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