We you may be aware we are trying very hard to get help from the Food and Drink Federation’s members to resolve the on-going issue of providing ingredients. To help support that, we need you to make a strong case for using Pupil Premium or other funding for those pupils that cannot afford to buy ingredients for their learning. Budgets are tight in schools, so you need to be able to support your claim effectively.
In 2007, the government was due to set up specific funding for this, the government changed and this did not become a reality and so we have lobbied the current government. And their response
to a question in the House of Commons that we raised was ‘We expect schools to find ways to enable all pupils to participate in food preparation and nutrition lessons regardless of their socio-economic background’.(Nick Gibb Minister).
Thus they allow schools to make their own decisions on the use of funds such as pupil premium.
We estimate that to run a good scheme of work (20 cooking sessions) the per pupil cost would be:
o Year 7 £1.50 per lesson = £30/pupil/year
o Year 8 £2.00 per lesson = £40/pupil/year
o Year 9 £2.50 per lesson = £50/pupil/year
So for example, if you are an inner London school with 50% of pupils eligible for PP, and have 500 pupils in years 7,8,9, you would be asking for £30,000, out of a possible budget of £230,000. If you are an average school with 15% PP, you would need £9,000., out of a possible budget of £70,000. IT is important to have a cost for your scheme of work ingredients, and to know the total budget that the school has and what it could be spent on. Your ingredients costs may be less if you don’t have 20 cooking sessions, and you could suggest ways to reduce this cost by buying in bulk, seeking funding from local sources etc.
1. There should be a school policy in place that defines how the ingredients will be provided, and meaning of ‘voluntary contributions’ , and how those that cannot afford to contribute or bring ingredients are going to be provided for.
2. The 1996 Education Act makes it clear that you cannot charge for national curriculum lessons, and 2006 Ofsted Food report calls this ‘social exclusion’.
“… in many schools, some pupils often do little cooking because they cannot afford, or will not bring to school, ingredients for practical cookery. This is a form of social exclusion linked to the unique method of funding food teaching, whereby parents have to pay for or supply the food cooked by their children in food lessons in schools and then taken home.” (OFSTED)
3. The new Ofsted framework has a focus on wellbeing and health, and the Ofsted checklist asks: ‘ How do you make learning about healthy eating(including nutrition advice and practical cooking) possible for all students?’ A key piece of evidence they are looking for is listed as ‘the use of pupil premium or budgets to provide ingredients for those pupils unable to bring from home.’
4. Collect your information- How much budget you will need for your scheme of work? Keep a record of how many pupils are effected every week and use pupil surveys to ask them how difficult they find it to bring ingredients. Show what would improve with a small amount of funding: attainment, behaviour, motivation, lesson management etc.
5. Decide the system that means that students can be provided for without stigmatisation
6. Remind your leaders and governors that
a. Food is placed in a unique position which may be holding back learning for those who need it most. ‘At What Cost’ – a report from the Children’s Society shows the impact of this.
b. Due to historic tradition when post war pupils brought ingredients to make a family meal, pupils are still required to bring in what is needed for their lessons in some schools. This makes it a unique subject as all other lessons have the equipment and materials provided (Except PE kit and personal musical instruments).
All you are asking the school is for sufficient funding to help those pupils below the poverty line to participate in your food lessons and learn to cook healthy, nutritious meals and dishes.
We are also working alongside key organisations and industry partners to support the new GCSE. We all want to make it the most exciting GCSE we have taught.