Taking School Food Forward in the West Midlands Karen Saunders, Senior Public Health Manager, Department of Health West Midlands
West Midlands - Context • 14 Local Authorities • 17 Primary Care Trusts • 2407 Schools • 1077 Healthy Schools status • FSM Uptake 82.5% Primary 73.5% Secondary • High rates of child obesity and overweight
Obesity • Nearly one in three children in Year 6 of primary school is overweight or obese • Almost one in four children in reception year are overweight or obese • Boys significantly more likely to be obese than girls in both age groups • Obesity levels highest in urban and deprived areas • National analyses shows Year 6 prevalence of obese and overweight may be slightly underestimated but that results for reception children are likely to be more robust
The Regional Role • Work across the Government Office to influence regional and local plans to maximise opportunities to promote food/obesity policy and priorities • Support commissioning of services • Support performance management functions in the SHA and the Children and Learners Group, and provide support for those areas facing the greatest challenge with delivery of each policy area • Promote effective practice and facilitate cross-sector working through regional networks • Encourage local areas to take a social marketing approach to developing interventions, and support them to increase their skills and knowledge in this area • Ensure capacity at regional level
Regional School Food and Health Co-ordinator Regional Infant Feeding Co-ordinator School Food Ambassador Network Regional Food in Schools Action Group Regional School Food Ambassador Network School Food Trust Food and Physical Activity Website/Infant feeding School Food Newsletters Packed Lunch Workshops Early Years Nutrition Training Children in Care Training Food Partnership Training Obesity Conference/summit Food in Schools Survey 2007 WSFP research Leisure centre vending survey Child measurement programme School meal uptake MEND “Charlie and the Kitchen Cook” And? Staff, Networks and Projects
Working Together • Recommendations for future activities within the network - identifying and filling the gaps • A joined up and coherent approach to school food – strategic and front line • Understand the Ambassador’s role in relation to Healthy Schools, Sustainable Schools, Lets Get Cooking, School FEAST etc • Don’t duplicate effort • Communication/marketing • “The main qualities School Food Ambassadors share are enthusiasm, commitment and passion for improving the food provided and consumed in schools” (SFT).