Soil Association Scotland Welcomes School Food Plan

12 July 2013

Laura Stewart, Director Soil Association Scotland said: We acknowledge and welcome the release of the School Food Plan in England as a positive step towards better school meals, it has brought the importance of nutritious and healthy school food firmly back into focus.  The plan sets out the step changes needed to improve food provision to millions of children in England, and we can learn from it in Scotland too. 

In the English setting the Food for Life Partnership, led by Soil Association, is built on the principle of the whole school approach, changing food culture, embedding a knowledge of cooking and growing, and improving the quality of meals. This has been a great success, achieving higher school meal uptakes* and a embedding a better understanding of food. 

School food has been on the high on agenda here in Scotland for a decade, when the Hungry for Success initiative helped caterers to reinvigorate menus, facilities and encouraged a whole school approach to school food. School food can be considered a social service, vital in ensuring many children receive a good meal each day, so it’s so important that we get this right. 

Soil Association  Scotland, through the Food for Life Scotland Programme is supporting caterers to  make step changes to the quality of school meals in Scotland.

  • 1 in 5 primary schools in Scotland are now serving Food for Life Catering Mark meals**
  • 6 LA’s are already CM holders and we are working with other LA’s to help them achieve the CM for their meal services.
  • 36,000 Food for Life Catering Mark meals are served across Scottish Schools every day.

We understand that education and engagement around food culture is key, and we are looking at what opportunities are available to us to incorporate more of this work into the Food for Life Scotland programme, in collaboration with others working in food education in Scotland, and with our colleagues south of the Border



*[1] The average FFLP school saw school meal take-up rise by 3.7 percentage points in their first year and by 5.0 percentage points over two years (Orme et al, 2011, pg 99)

 These increased mostly occurred from 2007/08 – 2008/09 when national school meal take-up fell by 3.7 percentage points in primary schools and by 2.6% in secondary schools (Nelson et al, 2009 / 2010)

 [2] Nationally over the two-year period of evaluation (2007/08 – 2009/10) free school meal take-up went up by an average of 13 percentage points in FFLP schools (Orme et al, 2001, p. 93)

Project evaluation Find out more about the impact of the Food for Life Partnership

** Visit for more information about the Catering Mark and Catering Mark holders in Scotland


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