Skip to content ↓

School Food Survey

A national survey being conducted by the School Food Trust will be taking place in the school

Letter from Dr Michael Nelson
Director of Research and Nutrition, School Food Trust

Dear Parent/Guardian 

Secondary School Food Survey 

I am writing to inform you of a survey that is taking place in your child’s school to describe secondary school food provision and consumption. This national survey is being conducted by the School Food Trust in collaboration with TNS-BMRB. The survey is being conducted in 80, randomly selected, secondary schools across England

The main survey fieldwork will be carried out between October 2010 and March 2011. The aim is to assess the impact of the new standards for school food on the types of food and drink actually selected and consumed by secondary school pupils at mid-morning break and lunchtime. We will also compare school food with packed lunches and other food brought into school from outside. Equally important, it will assess the extent to which food provision in schools meets the Government’s standards for school lunches and for food other than lunch (i.e., mid-morning break). Findings will be compared to those from the ‘School Meals in Secondary Schools in England’ report, published in 2004.

The Head teacher has given permission for your school to take part. In each school, over a period of one week, we will randomly select 75 pupils taking a school meal at mid-morning break, 75 pupils taking a school lunch and 25 pupils bringing a packed lunch and other food from outside school, to see what food they are eating. Your child might be included in the research, but not definitely. If your child is selected, an interviewer will make a note of what they are having for mid-morning break or lunch; ask their age and a few details about their regular eating habits during these times. We will also record any food left over from their lunch. Everything discussed, as above, will be treated as strictly confidential. No school or pupil will be identified individually in any report of our findings resulting from this survey.  

We have been collecting many kinds of important information from young people for many years. I hope that your child is willing to take part in this survey. If however, you would prefer that they did not take part, please let your school know as soon as possible so that the interviewers can be informed. If an interviewer asks your child if they want to take part and they decide on the day that they do not want to, then they do not have to take part. There will be no disadvantages if your child decides that they do not want to take part. 

Full details of the survey are provided overleaf on the Information Sheet. A similar sheet has been provided to the Head teacher and to the Catering manager/Head cook.