In 2012 the government launched a useful little publication entitled Top Tips for Sustainability in Schools.
Its aim was to “suggest practical ways for schools to become more sustainable, should they choose to, whilst at the same time saving money.”
This publication includes Top Tips to reduce carbon in schools, Top Tips to reduce energy and water use in schools, Top Tips for sustainable school travel, Top tips to reduce waste in schools, and so on.
Recently at the SEAM we have been looking into “best value” purchasing for schools and, should you be interested, we have written a report that is for sale on our on-line shop (link below). So I was interested in reading the Top Tips for Sustainable Purchasing in Schools.
As someone who consciously tries to keep my carbon footprint down when doing my own shopping – I love asparagus but only indulge during the short 8 week season for English asparagus – I was pleased to read Top Tip number 8 of the section on Sustainable Purchasing in Schools: “Buy food locally and seasonally”.
And apparently most parents are with me on this one, according to a YouGov poll commissioned by the NFU, 76% of parents said that schools should source British food wherever possible and 87% of parents said that at least half of the ingredients in school meals should be procured from British farms.
Minette Batters, NFU Deputy President commented: “It’s pleasing to see from the survey that 78 per cent of parents will take up the offer of free school meals that are now available to all pupils up to the age of seven at schools across England.
“This is a great opportunity for school caterers and all those involved in the supply chain to back British farming, and procure more seasonal local and British food.
“The NFU has been working hard for change and is committed to being part of the independent School Food Plan.
“We will continue to play our part in ensuring schools source more British food and helping to focus ideas to provide a strong platform to build a bright future for our children – not just for lunch but through cooking and food education.”
You can find the results of the poll at: http://www.meatinfo.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/17570/Parents_want_school_food_to_be_British_wherever_possible,_according_to_NFU_poll.html
And the government’s Top Tips for Sustainability in Schools publication at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/187037/DFE-32056-2012.pdf
Link to SEAM report How to ensure that your school always gets best value for money
Director, School of Educational Management and Administration