STANDARDS FOR FOOD OTHER THAN LUNCH IN SCHOOLS
SCHOOLS Minister Jacqui Smith
last week launched a consultation
with key stakeholders on standards for food which can be sold in
through vending machines, tuck shops and at break times, breakfast
clubs and after school.
Headteacher and school workforce associations, dieticians, health
charities, and food and drink organisations are invited to submit
their views on draft standards proposed today by the independent
School Food Trust for school food other than lunch.
The consultation will seek the views of key stakeholders on the
standards proposed by the independent School Food Trust, especially
on the following questions:-
* Do you agree that no confectionery should be sold in schools?
* Do you agree that no bagged savoury
snacks other than nuts and seeds (without added salt or sugar)
should be sold in schools?
* Do you agree that a variety of fruit
and vegetables should be available in all school food outlets? This
could include fresh, dried, frozen, canned and juiced varieties
* Do you agree that children and young
people must have easy access at all times to free, fresh, preferably
chilled, water in schools so that children do not have to depend on
going to the lavatory to get water?
* Do you agree that the only other
drinks available should be bottled water (still or sparkling),
skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, pure fruit juices, yoghurt and milk
drinks (with less than 5% added
sugar), drinks made from combinations of these e.g. smoothies, low
calorie hot chocolate, tea and coffee?
* Do you agree that artificial
sweeteners could be used in yoghurt and milk drinks only?
* Do you agree that every school should
have a whole school food and nutrition policy, preferably reflected
in its single School Plan?
* How effective do you think these recommendations would be in improving the eating habits of children
and young people?
* How could schools best manage the practical implications of moving
to these proposed standards?
* What additional guidance would schools
need to implement these proposed standards?
Jacqui Smith said:- "The independent School Food Trust has
proposed a robust set of
standards for food which can be sold in schools through vending
machines, in tuck shops and at break times. It is important that we
now seek the views of a wide range of stakeholders on these to
ensure that such standards are effective, practical, and in the best
interests of children's health."
The Government has already consulted on new minimum standards for
school lunches to be introduced in all schools by this September,
already made the first payments from £220 million dedicated to
helping schools deliver healthier meals.
Following the consultation, the Government will publish the final
version of the non-lunch food standards alongside the agreed
standards for school lunches in May.
Somerfield group announcement
SOMERFIELD announced last week that it will focus all future investment on the Somerfield brand to create the UK's leading convenience and local
food retailer. As part of this strategy 102 Kwik Save stores
are to be converted to the Somerfield fascia, to create a retail
group with over 1,000 stores across the UK.
Somerfield also announces that it has sold the Kwik Save brand and
171 stores to a new company specifically formed to operate Kwik
Save. The operation of Kwik Save along side the core business has
been unsuccessful and Kwik Save has incurred substantial losses.
A further 77 Kwik Save stores have been sold to other retailers.
The stores flowing are among the 171 stores which will transfer to BTTF the new owners of the Kwik Save business. Wavertree, Overton Street, Liverpool;
Great Homer Street, Liverpool; Old Swan, Liverpool;
Smithdown Road, Liverpool Merseyside;
Huyton Page Moss, Liverpool &
Stanley Road, Birkenhead; Heswall Telegraph Road, Wirral &
Claughton Road, Birkenhead Wallasey Seacombe, Paulton Road,
Wallasey, Belle Vale, Liverpool,
Market Street, Hyde Cheshire,
Academy Street, Warrington Cheshire Simms Cross,
Widnes Road, Widnes Cheshire,
Eddleston Road, Crewe Cheshire &
Hazel Grove, Stockport Cheshire
Health mates to get kids fit
6TH FORMERS are to be paid to act as 'health mates'
and mentor younger children in a bid to cut obesity in Liverpool.
More than 300 teenagers aged 16 to 18 will be recruited to provide
advice and guidance to 11 year olds who are overweight. The aim is
to get them interested in activities that burn calories such as
cooking, dancing or exercise.
It is part of a massive drive to improve the health and well being
of youngsters, proposed in the Children and Young People's plan. It
aims to cut the number of overweight or obese kids by a half in the
next 3 years, and get all youngsters taking part in 2 hours of
exercise per week.
The scheme will also help prepare 6th formers for the world of work,
as they will have to meet performance targets in order to receive
payment in gift and travel vouchers.
Council leader Warren Bradley said:- "Today's kids are
tomorrow's adults and we must do all we can to give them the best
possible start in order to prevent them facing health problems in
later life. Overweight youngsters are more likely to be
bullied and that can have a knock on effect on their confidence and
potential to achieve at school. It is vital we break the couch
potato habit and tackle the growing problem of child obesity by
finding innovative ways of getting them off out of the house and
taking part in physical activity. Our groundbreaking kids gyms
and games consoles on fitness equipment are already enticing
youngsters into our Lifestyles leisure centres, and we will build on
our success in these areas. Teaching youngsters the importance
of eating healthily and getting fit will help them develop habits
that last a lifetime."
Half of 11 year old boys and 40% of 11 year old girls in Liverpool
are overweight. 1 in 20 is clinically obese and 1 in 3 do not do
Free access to swimming and gym facilities at the city's Lifestyles
fitness centres is also planned, and the city is pledging to create
50 new activity play areas in school, deliver healthier meals and
work with food stores to help parents ensure their children eat
4 key priorities have been identified as part of the Children and
Young People's Plan. They are:
* Reducing childhood obesity and promoting a culture of physical
* Reducing the risk of
abuse, bullying and anti social behaviour
* Improving the
achievements of children in care, from ethnic minorities and young
* Improving early
diagnosis and family support for disabled and special needs children
Councillor Paul Clein, executive member for children's services,
said:- "The opinions of young people have formed the basis for
this plan. They spoke and we listened. It is a fact that
youngsters are far more easily influenced by their peers than by
adults. We can use the admiration that they have for older teenagers
and influence them in a positive way. We are committed to
working with partners in health, the police and the voluntary sector
to improve life for young people, and the plan sets some challenging
targets which we have to meet."
As part of the plan to reduce obesity, all 5 to16 year olds will get
access to free swimming pools after school at weekends, while over
13s will be able to use Lifestyles gyms.
The city council also wants to reduce youth nuisance by 30% through
supporting the development of after school activity and providing
diversionary activity at libraries and leisure centres. Improved
family support and assessment procedures will bring the number of
youngsters on the Child Protection Register down by 20%.
It is also proposed that the number of 11 to 15 year olds who are
bullied is halved over the next 3 years through the training of
anti bullying mentors in schools, extra training for children's
services staff and maintaining the Bully Busters helpline.
Extra support will be provided to help improve the achievements of
children in care, ethnic minorities and young carers. The aim is to
get 25% more vulnerable young people into education, training or
employment after the age of 16.
More help and assistance will also be provided to disabled children
and those with special educational needs. This will include
developing links with ante/post natal services to identify
youngsters at an early stage, improving social worker support
through strong links with schools and children's centres and
providing additional transport for disabled young people to attend
after school activities. More than £3 million has been set aside in
the coming year for schools to help achieve this.
The report will be considered by the Executive Board on Friday 3
March and implemented from April providing it is signed up to by the
city council and partners from the NHS and education.