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Ofsted to include healthy eating in Common Inspection Framework from September

19 Mar 2015

Ofsted has committed to including school food in its Common Inspection Framework in a letter from Sean Hartford, national director for schools, to Sharon Hodgson MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for School Food.

When the new school year starts in September areas such as wellbeing, health and healthy eating will be given a more prominent place in Ofsted’s inspection. The Common Inspection Framework, which was introduced on February 3rd 2015, will include, for the first time, a judgement on personal development, behaviour and welfare.

An Ofsted spokesperson said: “The new Common Inspection Framework will look at how schools help children gain a good knowledge of how keep themselves healthy, including eating well.

“Inspectors will look at the food on offer and visit the canteen to see the atmosphere and culture in the dining space and the effect this has on pupils’ behaviour. They will also speak to school leaders about how they help to ensure a healthy lifestyle for pupils by helping them gain knowledge of a good diet.”

Practical cookery will now also feature under the judgement on ‘leadership and management’.

The letter also states that engagement with the School Food Plan has begun to ensure Ofsted’s training resources are effective in ensuring healthy eating and food in schools is properly inspected.

A LACA spokesperson said: “LACA warmly welcomes Ofsted’s commitment to include school food in their inspection programme.

“Nutrition and food in schools is a vital part of the education process and we have long called for this to be taken into account during Ofsted inspections.

“The school food industry has made huge strides in the last 18 months and this latest development is a sign that this progress shows no signs of slowing down.

“School caterers and suppliers are looking forward to this next exciting stage in school food provision."

Myles Bremner, director of the School Food Plan, said: "It is great news that Ofsted have reconfirmed their commitment to inspection school food and the way it supports improved school outcomes. 

"We look forward to working with Ofsted over the next couple of months to ensure that the training and support for inspectors captures the importance of strong leadership, taking a ‘whole school approach’ and seeing through the eyes of the child."