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Publication - Research Publication

Evaluation of the Food Education Programme (2012-2015)

Published: 23 Mar 2016

Report evaluating how all nine projects have contributed to the programme’s overall outcomes.

119 page PDF

1.8MB

119 page PDF

1.8MB

Contents
Evaluation of the Food Education Programme (2012-2015)
Annex 9: Seafood in Schools - Seafood Scotland

119 page PDF

1.8MB

Annex 9: Seafood in Schools - Seafood Scotland

Background to the project

516. This section provides background information to the project Seafood in Schools run by Seafood Scotland. It describes how the project came to life, discusses the project's aims, outcomes and budget.

Project description

517. Seafood in Schools is a project run by Seafood Scotland which develops Seafood Industry partnerships with schools promoting the use of fish as a topic for interdisciplinary learning and enhancing children's knowledge and understanding of seafood and its supply chain from sea to plate. The project was designed for delivery across school cluster networks including nurseries, primaries and secondaries and puts an emphasis on progression on young people's experiences.

518. Prior to being awarded funding for 2012-15, Seafood Scotland received £300,000 in April 2010 (not part of FEP funding) towards a campaign 'Eat More Fish' [25] aimed at increasing seafood consumption and awareness of the health benefits of eating seafood to the public, schoolchildren, retailers and chefs throughout Scotland. This included a pilot carried out in four Scottish secondary schools, giving the pupils the opportunity to learn about issues such as sustainability, food industry processes and careers and healthy eating using fish as a vehicle for learning.

519. Further to this pilot, Seafood Scotland was awarded funding in March 2011 from the Food and Drink Industry Division (as part of the FEP) to implement the pilot project more widely, which was entitled Seafood in Schools.

520. With solid foundations established, the project for 2012-15 intended to build upon the earlier work and was targeted at children of all ages.

521. Project activities included:

  • Co-ordination and development of partnerships between industry and schools
  • Delivery of 'Anchor Events' to initiate seafood-related school learning projects and support schools throughout projects, as required
  • Resource development
  • Development and delivery of CPD for teachers

Project aims and outcomes

522. The key aim of Seafood in Schools was to:

use seafood as a context for learning to help pupils understand where seafood comes from, how it gets to their plates and why it is important as part of a healthy diet

523. Specifically the project as part of the overall FEP aimed to:

  • Increase knowledge and understanding about the seafood supply chain, from sea/source to plate
  • Increase knowledge and understanding about fishing and aquaculture production in Scotland
  • Increase appreciation of seafood as a healthy, sustainable food and understanding of why it is important as part of a healthy diet
  • Provide opportunities to develop a greater understanding of how to choose and prepare fish and shellfish, and to try different kinds of seafood
  • Provide a platform for the progression of knowledge and skills from nursery/primary through to secondary level and beyond
  • Provide CPD opportunities for teachers to enable them to use seafood as a context for learning throughout the Curriculum for Excellence
  • Support establishment of effective, sustainable partnerships between schools and the seafood industry that will give the project longevity beyond the term of funding

Budget

524. In total, the Scottish Government provided £225,000 of funding over the financial years 2012-15 (£75,000 per annum). During the pilot year 2011-12, £90,000 was awarded.

Progress on project delivery

525. Progress on project delivery, was assessed using information gathered from various data provided, which included:

  • Individual projects' progress against targets set by the Scottish Government
  • Individual projects' achievement of project aims
  • Feedback on challenges faced
  • Feedback from the target populations on successful delivery and satisfaction
  • Identification of characteristics/features of successful projects

Attainment of Scottish Government targets

526. Seafood in Schools made good progress against its targets and there were no issues with delivery or spend. The table that follows shows year on year progress towards achieving its targets.

Table 35: Seafood in School progress towards achieving targets

Target Progress Status
Targets Year 1
Engagement with 20 school clusters and delivery of two-day anchor event for each One less cluster achieved. Cancelled at last minute and due to take place in 2013-14 Partially achieved
Delivery of CPD training to teachers across all clusters CPD sessions held during lunchtime at each workshop - 800 teachers reached Achieved
Update and improve the Seafood in Schools website, including case studies Continuous development Achieved
Targets Year 2
Engagement with 20 school clusters and delivery of two-day anchor event for each 20 school clusters involving 20 high schools and 136 primaries Achieved
Delivery of CPD training to teachers across all clusters CPD sessions held during lunchtime at each workshop - 750 teachers reached Achieved
Industry partnership set up with across all clusters Industry partners (processors, chefs, fishermen, retailers etc) brought in to every workshop Achieved
Update and improve the Seafood in Schools website, including case studies
On-going
Targets Year 3    
Engagement with 20 school clusters and delivery of two-day anchor event for each 20 school clusters involving 20 high schools and 131 primaries Achieved
Delivery of CPD training to teachers across all clusters CPD sessions held during lunchtime at each workshop - 650 teachers reached. Through other events, total reach of teachers rises to 900 Achieved
Industry partnership set up with across all clusters Industry partners (processors, chefs, fishermen, retailers etc) brought in to every workshop Achieved
Update and improve the Seafood in Schools website, including case studies
On-going

527. Beyond the pre-defined targets, other activities took place. Particularly in relation to collaborating with other food education partners such as Crofting Connections, RHET and Chefs@School. There was also on-going training with all four project coordinators. Occasionally, community sessions were also organised involving parents, guardians, siblings and the wider community.

528. The project was also active in PR activities via local press releases, TV and radio coverage through various local channels as well as in national and trade press.

Achievement of project aims

529. Objective #1: Increase knowledge and understanding about the seafood supply chain, from sea/source to plate. Objective #2: Increase knowledge and understanding about fishing and aquaculture production in Scotland. From feedback forms distributed to teachers and pupils, it appeared that the project helped increase knowledge of the industry.

530. Objective #3: Increase appreciation of seafood as a healthy, sustainable food and understanding of why it is important as part of a healthy diet. Feedback forms received by teachers and pupils, showed a trend towards greater understanding and appreciation from those who attended the workshops sessions.

531. Objective #4: Provide opportunities to develop a greater understanding of how to choose and prepare fish and shellfish, and to try different kinds of seafood. The number of opportunities created to learn about food increased year on year.

532. Objective #5: Provide a platform for the progression of knowledge and skills from nursery/primary through to secondary level and beyond. The project worked in clusters selecting a secondary school and then working with all surrounding primary/nursery schools.

533. Objective #6: Provide CPD opportunities for teachers to enable them to use seafood as a context for learning throughout the Curriculum for Excellence. Each year, between 750 and 1,000 teachers were provided with CPD opportunities.

534. Objective #7: Support establishment of effective, sustainable partnerships between schools and the seafood industry that will give the project longevity beyond the term of funding. Anchor events linked schools with industry, however, no data was received to establish whether links were sustained and further developed beyond their involvement in the project.

535. Overall and where data is available, the project appeared to have made good progress towards achieving its aims.

Challenges

536. The challenges identified the project coordinator were focused around the difficulties in dealing with a wide range of schools and ensuring a sustainable partnerships between industry and the schools.

537. While schools were enthusiastic about taking part in the project, making sure that all activities ran smoothly and coordinating all schools took some effort and good organisational skills.

538. Another challenge identified was around chasing up schools for post-project case studies. Once the project was over, many schools struggled to keep the momentum going.

539. Working with chefs was also found challenging, particularly in relation to the high level of last minute cancellations.

Feedback from target populations

540. Feedback forms were distributed among teachers and pupils. Response rates varied between a third and two fifths.

541. The majority of teachers said they were keen to undertake more food education activities using their newly gained knowledge [26] .

542. Overall, teachers found the workshops to be an excellent experience for pupils with a wide variety of information put across during sessions. They were also pleased to have made new contacts with industry personnel at the events who were willing to return to help deliver food education messages in the classroom.

543. Feedback provided by pupils (over 5,000 replies), was equally positive and encouraging. Most pupils (78%) said that they enjoyed the event. Furthermore, 76% said they had learnt something new: including, where seafood comes from and the supply chain involved (33%), eating seafood contains Omega 3 (23%) and how the Scottish salmon and/or fishing industries work (9%).

544. Tasting seafood was by far the most favourite activity. In fact, 71% said the event had changed how much seafood they now wanted to eat.

545. No evaluation of the community workshops was undertaken but anecdotal evidence from comments made at the events show that parents gained some knowledge and understanding from them. Some of the feedback received included:

  • Castle Douglas HS - 'Loved the workshops - great to experience the fresh approach of hands-on learning. Will introduce more fish at home'.
  • Webster's High School, Kirriemuir - 'A great project to bring into school for both pupils and parents. The encouragement towards the children and adults to try all the fish on offer was excellent and as a parent, it has opened my eyes and I feel like I could try more fish based recipes in the future. Thank-you'.

Key features of success

546. The project has now been running for just over five years. Targets were met continuously and there were no issues with delivery or spend. The four coordinators were updated with regular training and the infrastructure of the project appeared to run smoothly.

547. Feedback from various target audiences was consistently positive.

548. The project was also proactive at collaborating with various other food education partners, like for example Chefs@School, with whom formal links were established from March 2014 onwards.

549. New funding partners were continuously sought after and engaged to extend the reach of the project.

550. In fact, there was continuous growth in the number of pupil opportunities provided to learn about food. At the end of Year 3 of the FEP, Seafood in Schools was the major contributor of learning opportunities for pupils. Further detail on this will be provided in the section that follows.

Progress on Programme Outcomes

551. This section focuses on the impact that Seafood in Schools has had on the wider FEP outcomes of Opportunities, Embeddedness, Investment and Learning and Behaviour Change. .

Opportunities

552. During the pilot year Seafood in Schools provided around 25,000 opportunities for pupils to learn about food. The pilot year provided some solid groundwork for a successful start of Seafood in Schools into the FEP.

553. During the first year of the FEP, the number of pupil opportunities provided to learn about food doubled to 51,600. This positive progression continued, albeit at a much slower pace: just over 52,400 opportunities were provided in Year 2 and 58,600 during Year 3.

554. Since taking part in the FEP, Seafood in Schools created over 160,000 opportunities for pupils to learn about food.

555. Interaction with Seafood in Schools could have taken three main formats: directly via workshops, through dissemination across schools and via their presence at the Royal Highland Show. The table below shows how many opportunities were created over time:

Table 36: Seafood in Schools Opportunities created over time

FEP: Year 1 2012-13 FEP: Year 2 2013-14 FEP: Year 3 2014-15
Total number of opportunities created 51,660 52,480 58,600
- through direct workshops 10,000 13,500 11,600
- through dissemination across schools 29,660 26,980 35,000
- via presence at RHS 12,000 12,000 12,000

556. Seafood in Schools works on a cluster basis. Each year, the target set of creating 20 clusters was achieved. Each year, the project engaged approximately 150 schools (around 130 primary schools and 20 secondary schools). Details are provided in the table that follows:

Table 37: Seafood in Schools number of schools reached

FEP: Year 1 2012-13 FEP: Year 2 2013-14 FEP: Year 3 2014-15
Total number of schools reached 148 156 151
- of which primary schools 127 136 131
- of which secondary schools 21 20 20

557. In terms of geographical coverage, this was spread across most of Scotland, with the exception of the Islands as shown in the map below.

Image 9: Seafood in School geographical coverage

j422884_g08.gif

Embeddedness

558. This section portrays Seafood in Schools progress towards the overall programme outcome: Food education activities are embedded in the curriculum and teachers appreciate food as a learning resource and are confident to deliver food education.

559. The indicators used to track progress towards this outcome are: number of food education CPD events, number of teachers attending CPD events regarding food, feedback from CPD (or other) events, and range of resources available.

560. Seafood in Schools held CPD sessions during lunchtimes at each workshop. The target of 30 teachers per session was either achieved or exceeded consistently. Beyond these sessions, further CPD events took place. Overall, 1,000 teachers were reached in Year 1, 750 in Year 2 and 900 in Year 3.

561. From the teachers' feedback forms, teachers found the workshops to be an excellent experience for pupils with a wide variety of information provided during sessions.

562. Anecdotal evidence from the teachers and comments written down in their 'comments book' showed that they [teachers] were enthused to undertake more food education activities using their newly gained knowledge. They were also pleased to have made new contacts with industry personnel at the events, who were willing to return to help deliver food education messages in the classroom.

563. Immense variety of resources was created over time. It was reported that these were well received and widely used by teachers. Examples include: a website with project information (incl. case studies), quiz sheet, wall charts, project leaflets, workshop materials, posters, pull up banners, recipe leaflets and postcards, species guides, flash cards, etc Some of the material was also available in Gaelic.

Investment

564. Another outcome of the programme was in regards to the level of investment generated from industry. The outcome is defined as: industry investment in food education is demonstrated and has increased/continues to increase, with commitment of industry to continue with engagement/partnerships.

565. There was a consistent level of in-kind investment over time, which increased the budget of the project by two thirds.

Table 38: Seafood in Schools investment

FEP: Year 1 2012-13 FEP: Year 2 2013-14 FEP: Year 3 2014-15
Scottish Government funding £75,000 £75,000 £75,000
In-kind investment from industry and other external partners £50,000 £55,000 £55,000

566. Industry partners (processors, chefs, fishermen, retailers, marine scientists etc) were brought in to every workshop and pledged on-going support and engagement with the local schools. Partnerships were for the most part maintained year on year

Learning and Behaviour Change

567. The last two outcomes of the programme are in relation to learning and behaviour change: knowledge and awareness regarding food has increased; and positive change in attitudes/intention/ behaviour regarding food issues, food choices and career options.

568. Seafood Scotland distributed feedback forms to all participating students to complete [27] . On the whole, results were overwhelmingly positive. Most students said that they enjoyed the event and around 75% said that they had learnt something new as a result of taking part in the workshop.

569. From feedback forms collected by Seafood in Schools, children seemed to be learning a wide range of topics as part of the project: e.g. that seafood contained Omega 3 (20%), where seafood comes from and the supply chain involved (18%), new facts about fish and shellfish (16%), experiences a new taste or recipe (15%), the wider Scottish Seafood industry (13%) [28] .

570. Favourites of the event included: tasting the seafood, seeing the live fish or crustaceans and holding them, and cookery demonstrations.

571. Over 80% of participating students said they had tried a new seafood and around 70% each year said that the event had changed how much seafood they now wanted to eat.

572. No evaluation of the community events was undertaken but anecdotal evidence from comments made at the events showed that parents gained a good deal of knowledge and understanding from them. For illustrative purposes, some examples are below:

  • "When my son came home saying that he ate mussels, I had to see for myself, and this convinced me that he wanted to start to eat seafood." [Parent from Carrick Academy]
  • "I wish we had done this at school." [Parent from Carrick Academy]
  • "Really loved this event. It made my kids try fish and I hope they will now want to eat it more often." [Parent from Perth Academy]
  • "Fantastic evening, thank you so much, as a parent I've learned lots - even though I have a hotel and catering background!" [Parent from Perth Academy]

Contact

Email: RESAS, socialresearch@gov.scot