The Foundation's education group helps to achieve our charitable objectives through its Food - a fact of life food and nutrition education programme for schools. This comprehensive, progressive programme communicates up-to-date, unbiased, consistent and accurate messages about food and nutrition to all those involved in education.

Specifically, it supports the needs of:

  • Children, pupils and students in schools and colleges throughout the UK;
  • Teachers, support assistants, other staff and governors at all levels in educational establishments;
  • Trainers and trainees at initial teacher education establishments;
  • Parents.

Key issues

Through the various activities of the education programme, we seek to address current issues in nutrition which relate to children.

Specifically, our priorities are:

(a) Tackling the rising levels of childhood obesity;
(b) Strengthening food education in schools;
(c) Encouraging and supporting a whole school approach to food and nutrition;
(d) Promoting positive messages about healthy eating;
(e) Supporting the teaching of practical food skills and life skills;
(f) Raising the importance of physical activity.

The Foundation's education group is in a uniquely strong position. It combines the rigour of expert nutrition advice, with the discipline of educational pedagogy. The result is a programme which is up-to-date, is based on sound scientific evidence and has educational integrity.

Objectives

  • To help individuals recognise that food is a basic requirement of life and should be enjoyed.
  • To help individuals develop an understanding of the underlying scientific principles upon which current issues in nutrition are based.
  • To inform about methods of food production and food processing in domestic and commercial situations.
  • To encourage an awareness of social, economic and cultural aspects of food choice.
  • To enable individuals to demonstrate and apply appropriate knowledge of concepts and principles when planning and preparing meals and when making food choices. 

Ensuring integrity

The education programme is founded on a whole school approach.  It provides advice and guidance on policy matters relating to children's dietary requirements and provision of food throughout the school day.  It ensures that wherever aspects of food and nutrition need to be taught within the formal curriculum, teachers and pupils have the opportunity to use the most innovative and effective resources available.

In order to achieve this, the Education Group draws on the expertise of a number of key partners and interrogates a wide array of information sources to anticipate needs and determine priorities for forthcoming years.

In order do this effectively the group must ensure to:

  • Build and maintain a network of key contacts in relevant government departments in order to facilitate early identification of forthcoming changes likely to influence food and nutrition matters in schools;
  • Monitor statutory requirements for schools, such as those governing school curricula, examination requirements and minimum nutritional standards for school lunches;
  • Meet with the Foundation's expert education working  groups for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to advise on current projects and identify priorities for future plans;
  • Actively seek and respond to all feedback received from teachers (both formal and informal) regarding the type and content of resources and conferences, and taking account of suggestions for future developments, in order to maintain integrity and rigour;
  • Draw on advice of the Foundation's expert scientific and industrial committees regarding the accuracy of educational resources under development;
  • Map resources currently available for a range of audiences, identifying those which need refreshing or adding in order to fill the gaps;
  • Work with creative experts to find innovative media to deliver the education programme, e.g. software development.

    Last reviewed July 2009. Next review due December 2013

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