Providing evidence for Ofsted

Ofsted’s new Common Inspection Framework (published June 2015) includes a judgement on Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare.

As part of reaching this judgement, inspectors will look at the extent to which schools are successfully supporting pupils to gain “knowledge of how to keep themselves healthy” and “make informed choices about healthy eating, [and] fitness” throughout their entire inspection.

The School Food Plan has published practical guidance to help school leaders and governing bodies adopt a whole school approach to food. The guidance cites the Food for Life Schools Award as a quality assured scheme to help schools create a culture and ethos of healthy eating.

In an update from Ofsted, inspectors have been asked to familarise themselves with this guidance as it is relevant to their assessment of how schools are supporting pupils to keep themselves healthy.

In a letter written to Sharon Hodgson MP, as chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on School Food, Ofsted state that:

"Inspectors will look for evidence of a culture or ethos of exercise and healthy eating throughout their entire inspection visit, in classrooms as well as in the school canteen. They will look at the food on offer and visit the canteen to see the atmosphere and culture in the dining space and the effect this has on pupils’ behaviour.

"Inspectors will also speak to school leaders about how they help to ensure a healthy lifestyle for pupils by helping them gain knowledge of a good diet, physical exercise and mental and physical wellbeing. In addition to this, under the judgement on ‘leadership and management’ they will also consider the breadth and balance of the curriculum, of which practical cookery is now a part."

Schools who are working towards or have gained their Food for Life Schools Award will already have started to collect evidence of a positive food culture in action.

Click here to read the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework.

67% of schools felt the programme had a clear impact on their Ofsted report in terms of pupils' personal development and wellbeing.

School food and Ofsted: A quick guide

Ofsted’s new Common Inspection Framework will now expect pupils to gain “knowledge of how to keep themselves healthy” and “make informed choices about healthy eating, [and] fitness” throughout their inspection. Food for Life is specifically mentioned as a form of evidence helpful to Ofsted.

Ofsted Guidance