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Feeding the mind

Published: 10 Mar 2016 11:10
Part of:
Economy, Education

Further funding for food education programmes.

The Scottish Government will feed young minds with more food-related school lessons, as Food Secretary Richard Lochhead announced funding to enhance food education.

Mr Lochhead revealed a further £876,000 has been allocated for food-education projects for the next 12 months. This will offer additional opportunities for pupils to learn about all aspects of food and support the aims of Curriculum for Excellence.

Today's announcement, which includes continued support for the Food For Thought Education Fund, takes the total investment on additional food education projects to almost £5 million since it began in 2010.

Speaking at Holy Rood High in Edinburgh, which has previously benefited from Food For Thought funding, Mr Lochhead said:

"Scotland's food and drink industry is booming, with people all over the world showing an interest in our fantastic natural larder. It's a sector that Scotland can be extremely proud of, with plenty of room for further growth, so it's great to see schools getting involved in food education.

"I want young people to not only engage with the journey of their food and its health impacts, but also open their eyes to potential careers in the industry and further afield. This funding can help them do that and it's great that more money has been made available to help youngsters and, hopefully, encourage them to consider a future in the sector."

Since the food education programme began in 2010 there has been more than 374,000 individual pupil opportunities to learn through food education projects and almost 10,000 teacher training courses, with a reported increase in confidence among teachers, with food as a topic becoming more established into the curriculum.

Susan Imlach, Curricular Leader Health and Wellbeing at Holy Rood High said:

"The Food for Thought funding has supported Holy Rood pupils in developing skills for learning, life and work in a wide variety of innovative and imaginative ways. The funding was well used to improve the school's links with business partners in the food and hospitality industry, and pupils are now better informed of employment possibilities within the food industry, as well as the skills required to do particular jobs.

"In more general terms, this kind of partnership working enables pupils to develop the kind of employability skills needed by Scotland's young workforce. Our Food for Thought projects have left a legacy of enriched partnerships which can only contribute to the school's efforts to ensure our pupils achieve a sustained and positive destination upon leaving school."

Suzanne Hargreaves from Education Scotland said:

"We are delighted to give schools the opportunity to apply for the fourth phase of the Food for Thought Education Fund, which is having such a positive impact in schools across Scotland. With the help of this funding many learners in schools and early years centres are growing their own food garden areas, raised beds, greenhouses and even poly tunnels for the more ambitious. Other establishments have purchased cooking trolleys and culinary equipment, or have turned unused spaces into kitchens, inspiring learners to cook more at school and home."

Notes to editors

Food for Thought Phase 4 funding has been made available with bids of up to £3000 now being invited from early learning and childcare centres and schools. Bids close on Sunday 17 April 2016

More on the Food For Thought Education Fund:

Funding is also facilitating:

  • Federation of Chefs Scotland - Chefs @ School:Inspiring Food Education Inititiave.
  • Keep Scotland Beautiful - Scotland's Good Food Young Workforce
  • Royal Highland Education Trust - Farm Visits and Farmers' Markets in schools
  • Seafood Scotland -Seafood in Schools Project.
  • Scottish Food and Drink Federation - A Future in Food Project around careers in F&D Manufacturing
  • Soils Association's Crofting Connections Project –young people learning about crofting and food
  • Two School food education development officers within Education Scotland