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Disappointing report from Ofsted

Children Eating School Dinners

The report, Obesity, healthy eating and physical activity in primary schools, surveyed 60 primary schools and provides some useful information about children’s and parents’ perceptions of school meals. It also identifies the types of activities that schools are offering as part of their PE provision.

Comparing schools whose children have high and low levels of obesity but with similar demographics, the inspectors came to the conclusion that there is no proof that any particular strategies are working when it comes to tackling obesity.

The report is quite critical of some of the projects that schools have become involved in. It suggests that they would be better placed to concentrate on what they are good at which is transmitting skills and knowledge. There is also criticism of the fact that many schools do not teach cooking and do not pay sufficient attention to what students and their parents actually want.

Schools are advised that they should:

  • plan a challenging and well-sequenced curriculum, including learning about the body in PE and science, and about healthy eating and cooking
  • provide ample opportunity for children to take physical exercise during the school day – with lots of opportunities to get out of breath
  • teach particular skills such as how to cook or how to dance
  • update parents on their children’s physical development such as agility, balance and coordination.

The report has had a mixed reception amongst associations. In particular, there is concern that it seems to move away from the idea that a whole-school approach is what can be most beneficial.

Obesity, healthy eating and physical activity in primary schools: https://bit.ly/2JyH9qB.