Vote for the healthiest

I was delighted to read that the Office for Standards in Education will assess children's lifestyles (TES, November 5).

The move, which follows the launch of the healthy living blueprint for schools, further highlights the importance of how learning should not depend solely on the classroom environment, but on a balanced approach which focuses on wider issue including implementing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Exercise, nutrition and diet all play a vital role in aiding and supporting the learning experience and therefore, the Teaching Awards Trust fully supports Ofsted's decision to evaluate exercise at playtimes and education on nutrition and diet.

However, I was shocked to read recently that the average cost of a typical school meal is 42p - less than what prisons spend on inmates' lunches.

If we are to analyse and improve the lifestyle of our pupils, what they should eat needs to complement what they actually eat and as a result, resources and the way in which they are used need to be examined.

The Teaching Awards Trust has introduced a new category for 2005 - the Award for Healthy Schools - and judging from the quality of nominations submitted, many schools are taking this issue seriously. Nominations for the award can be made online at

David Hanson Chief executive officer Teaching Awards Trust 4th Floor 6 Middle Street, London EC1

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