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Resources - Food in Schools

National Curriculum Links


Cookery & nutrition teaching is statutory for schools within the Design & Technology national curriculum:


Nutrition and diet should also be taught as part of the statutory Science curriculum:

Aspects of teaching around nutrition and diet will form part of the statutory Health Education curriculum, due to be implemented in schools by September 2020.

Government Policies and Guidance

Department for Education

School food standards practical guide updated May 2022

Department for Education

Free school meals: guidance for schools and local authorities updated June 2022

Department for Education

Free school meals and pupil premium: Model form that schools can use to determine which children are eligible for free school meals and the pupil premium

Public Health

Public Health guidance on water provision in schools

Advice on School Lunches

Mandatory School Food Standards

Came into force from 1st January 2015 and are still a legal requirement for schools. The guidance includes information for headteachers, governors and caterers with useful checklists of requirements

North Yorkshire Catering

North Yorkshire County Council’s catering service offers healthy, locally sourced food which is certified to Food for Life Bronze standard and fully compliant with the Government mandatory School Food Standards.

Advice on Healthy Packed lunches in school

Change4Life - Healthier Lunchboxes

Clear website with mix and match packed lunch examples. Good link for sending home to parents.

British Nutrition Foundation:

Lots of information, healthy packed lunch flowchart worksheet and healthy lunchbox recipe ideas.

Whole School Food policy guidance

School Food Matters have developed this comprehensive whole school food policy template for you to adapt and use in your school.

What works well - School food plan

Sections on Food, Lunchtime Experience, Learning and examples of good practice eg Croydon Whole School Food Policy template and document ‘Creating a Culture and Ethos of Healthy Eating’ (documents available as downloads online)

Food, Cooking & Growing Curriculum Support

British Nutrition Foundation:

‘Food in Schools’ section for teachers: sign up for free resources

Countryside Classroom

Access resources, places to visit and people to ask that will support teaching about food, farming and the natural environment.

Garden Organic

Handy, quick-reference Growing Instruction Cards, Activity Sheets and garden construction project advice eg how to build a raised bed

Grow to School CIC

Year-round food growing resources and in school support to help you maximise your growing space for learning and discovery. In school and online CPD - learn how to manage your garden and include your garden in curriculum planning.

RHS Campaign for School Gardening

Once registered for free; access lesson plans, activity sheets, resources and work towards a School Gardening Award (levels 1-5). Successful schools are rewarded with seeds, growing calendars etc

RHS Harlow Carr – Harrogate free school visits

Yorkshire Agricultural Society

Fantastic range of free teacher CPD courses including outdoor learning and growing. Annual school days out including the Countryside Days and Great Yorkshire Show. Apply for a Grant for projects which involve food, outdoor learning, growing or cooking.

North Yorkshire support and resources around Healthy Weight

Healthy Weight Pathway for Children, Young People and Families in North Yorkshire

Public Health Healthy Weight Pathway document for North Yorkshire available for referral pathway

Healthy choices for children - NYCC

Help your child eat well and be active, with healthy meals, tips from Change4Life, and information on our Healthy Choices weight programme.

Healthy Child team – your School Health Nurse

May be able to do some particular work in your school depending on your needs and their availability with links to your school’s Growing up in North Yorkshire (GUNY) data.

Reducing food waste

North Yorkshire Rotters can provide free assemblies and workshops on reducing food waste through making smoothies with their popular pedal powered smoothie bike.  Can also support composting in school. Contact Jeff Coates

Contact your school caterer for advice and guidance on working to reduce food waste at dinner time.


Food waste can be collected from schools for anaerobic digestion. Yorwaste can arrange this service for your school