Increasing the take up of school meals

Increasing the take-up of school meals










Implementing the School Food Plan


The School Food Plan is a Department for Education backed set of recommendations to improve food in schools. The plan was launched in July 2013 following a 12 month review of school food by industry experts Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent.


The plan was driven by rising rates of childhood obesity and the huge cost that diet-related illness is having on the NHS.


Aims of the School Food Plan:

  • At least 70% of children eating school meals
  • Those children eating tasty and nutritious food
  • No child going hungry
  • School cooks who are happy, confident, skilled and motivated
  • Schools taking a ‘whole school approach’ to food, with creative collaborations between head teachers, school cooks, children, teachers, governors and parents
  • Children who know how to feed themselves well, and who enjoy cooking and growing with their families, both at school and at home
  • School kitchens that can stand on their own feet financially, enjoying a virtuous cycle of higher take-up, better quality and lower price

Schools can achieve a Health Improvement Award by implementing the main principles of the School Food Plan:

1. Concentrate on the things children care about: good food, attractive environment, social life, price, and brand.

2. Adopt a “whole-school approach”. This is a simple idea, but an important one. It means treating the dining room as an integral part of the school, where children and teachers eat; lunch as part of the school day; the cooks as important staff members; and food as a vital element of school life.

3. Have a head teacher who leads the change.


Cooking in the curriculum