The School Food Plan: Putting food at the heart of the school day


Correspondence: Leah Schabas, Coordinator, The School Food Plan, City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2AA, UK.



The School Food Plan, published in July 2013 by the Department for Education, is the latest chapter in England's school food reform drive over the past decade. In contrast to conventional independent reviews, which put forward recommendations for consideration, the School Food Plan lays out actions, which are currently being implemented.

The plan sets out 16 actions across policy and industry, ranging from changes to the national curriculum and school food standards, to industry-led taskforces. The implementation of the Plan is expected to run for two years, after which the actions will be fully embedded into everyday school food activity, with an expected enduring positive impact on health and attainment.

This paper gives a brief overview of the School Food Plan, providing the background to the Plan along with a summary of its central principles. It also offers an update on the 16 actions, taking into account the Government's subsequent announcement that universal free school meals for Reception to Year 2 (pupils aged 4–7) will be provided by September 2014.