DfE launches healthy schools rating scheme

Schools will be able to find out whether they are gold, silver or bronze rated when it comes to healthy eating and PE

Helen Ward

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A voluntary rating scheme for schools to assess how good they are at supporting pupils’ health has been published today.

Primary or secondaries wanting to take part in the Department for Education's Healthy Schools Rating scheme are asked to complete a survey with questions such as whether healthy eating is a curriculum policy, whether food is grown on-site for school meals and how much time is spent on PE during the week.

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The guidance comes three years after a healthy schools rating scheme was proposed in the 2016 childhood obesity plan – earlier this year food campaigners, including Jamie Oliver, called for the government to take action on the issue.

The scheme gives schools the ability to work out how well they are doing at promoting healthy eating and physical activity by completing a self-assessment online survey.

The scheme covers four areas: food education, compliance with food standards, the amount of time children spend on PE each week and participation in walking and cycling to school schemes.

Schools taking part will get a bespoke report and a rating (gold, silver, bronze or no award) based on their answers.

Schools are encouraged to share their ratings with parents and may want to draw attention to the scheme to Ofsted inspectors.

But it is up to the school whether it wants to share its results, the guidance states: “Please rest assured that we will not share the results of your school’s rating publicly and will treat your school’s details in confidence.”

The scheme is available to all schools participating in the Active Lives Children and Young People survey run by Sport England and Ipsos MORI.

To participate in the survey, schools should contact their local Active Partnerships representative, who coordinates the survey for schools in their local area.

The scheme is being launched in a Beta phase and feedback is being asked for.

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