Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills
The Healthy Eating in Schools (Wales) Measure 2009 (‘the Measure’) in its entirety, and the Healthy Eating in Schools (Nutritional Standards and Requirements) (Wales) Regulations 2013 (‘the Regulations’) came into force on Monday 2 September 2013.
The Measure requires local authorities and governing bodies to promote healthy eating and drinking by pupils in maintained schools, encourage the take-up of school meals and protect the identity of pupils receiving free school lunches or milk. The Measure also places a duty on governing bodies of maintained schools to include in their annual report information about the action taken to promote healthy eating by pupils at the school, and a duty on the Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales to keep Welsh Ministers informed about the actions taken by such schools. Local authorities must also ensure that a supply of drinking water is available free of charge on school premises.
The Regulations, made under the Measure, set out requirements for food and drink provided on the premises of a maintained school or at a place other than school premises, by a local authority or the governing body of a maintained school, to any registered pupil at the school. The Regulations also define the nutrient content of school lunches.
In my previous statement of 19 August, regarding the publication of the summary of responses to the consultation on the draft Regulations, I promised to provide detail on any amendments made to the draft Regulations. I therefore confirm that the responses were considered in detail and that two key changes were made in addition to some minor amendments. The key changes related to the breakfast food categories in Schedule 1 of the draft Regulations: ‘fruit’ changed to ‘fruit and vegetables’’ and ‘bread’ changed to ‘bread and toppings’. The amendments allow local authorities and schools to offer a wider variety of food to pupils at breakfast.
Statutory guidance to assist local authorities and governing bodies to comply with the new duties will be available in due course. In the meantime, local authorities and governing bodies should continue to refer to the Appetite for Life guidelines.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.