Scottish school meal standards to go under review

Scottish school meal standards to go under review

The Scottish government has announced a review into school meal standards.

While Scotland already has among the strictest standards around school melas in Europe, experts from Food Standards Scotland, NHS Health Scotland and Education Scotland will consider whether the meals could be improved further.

Deputy first minister John Swinney announced the creation of a short-life working group into the matter. “School food matters, in terms of what children eat and what they learn about,” he said. “With almost 366,000 school meals served up in Scottish schools every day we must ensure nutritional standards are the best they can be. I also want children, especially primary pupils, to have as many of their ‘five a day’ as they can and for food to be sourced as locally as possible.

“Since our internationally-admired school meal regulations were introduced in 2008, the scientific evidence and dietary advice has changed. Nearly a decade on, the time is right to review whether school food provision can be further improved.

“The short-life working group I have established is examining the scientific and technical detail of the latest evidence and advice regarding nutritional standards. Once that group reports back this summer, I will then seek the views of young people, parents, industry, catering and other stakeholder groups before taking forward any potential changes.”

The group is made up of Education Scotland’s health and nutrition inspector; NHS Health Scotland’s organisational lead for diet and obesity prevention; and Food Standards Scotland’s head of nutrition science and policy. It is expected to report to Scottish ministers in summer 2017.