Consultation launched on guidelines for school food teaching resources

Producers and users of school educational resources on food are being invited to have their say on a series of new voluntary guidelines.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) with the British Nutrition Foundation have this week launched a consultation on the new guidelines developed with education, food and health experts, including LEAF Education and National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

The aim is to encourage a best practice approach by those who develop and produce food education resources for schools, as well as promoting consistency of information.

It is hoped they will be used in classrooms across the UK to ensure children and young people have up-to-date, evidence-based resources to support their learning about food.

AHDB’s head of education and nutrition Roz Reynolds said: “Food education in our schools continues to be of great importance but we must ensure teachers have access to high quality and accurate resources.

There is a great deal of conflicting information about the food that we eat, so it’s our aim to adopt a collaborative approach to the subject to avoid misleading or inaccurate information.

“We hope that as many people as possible involved in education will have their say and help shape these new guidelines with the aim of promoting best practice, supporting teachers and better educating children and young people.”

The guidelines cover all types of educational resources including worksheets, posters, leaflets, teacher guides, videos, presentations and many more. However, they are not intended to be applied to academic materials such as university textbooks.

The 14 guidelines are split into two areas – content and general – and include subjects such as healthy eating and nutrition, food provenance and meal choices. There are also sections on curriculum and qualifications, as well as campaigns, fundraising and marketing.

NFU education manager Josh Payne said: “It’s great to see professional bodies working alongside farmers and growers to ensure that teachers have access to high quality, factual resources which support their pupils’ learning.

“The NFU has welcomed the opportunity to work with the British Nutrition Foundation, LEAF and AHDB in the creation of these guidelines, and we look forward to seeing these voluntary guidelines being used in schools to provide this important element of education for children.”

Carl Edwards, director education and public engagement at LEAF, added: “It is vital that educational resources are high quality, rigorous and truthful. These guidelines, alongside a simple and easy-to-use checklist, will help ensure that all future resources meet these requirements.

“Ultimately, the effectiveness of teaching outcomes are driven by balanced, relevant and informed resources which stimulate, inspire and challenge young people.”

To have your say on the draft guidelines visit the Food A Fact of Life website. The consultation is open until 5:00pm on March 15.