School Food Champions — Sign Up Now
At a time when 1 in 3 children are at risk from diet related ill-health, school is our best opportunity to ensure every child has access to a decent, nutritious meal every day. Right now, this is not the case.
Our schools and the high streets that surround them are often flooded with unhealthy food, and nowhere near enough healthy options. Too many canteens serve food that barely meets required standards, and in some the food available is not affordable to all. School Food Champions was created to change this!
We know young people are passionate about making their schools and communities healthier and fairer places for all. School Food Champions gives them the tools to harness this passion and take the lead in driving positive change, to ensure that in every school all children can access the food they need to thrive.
What is School Food Champions?
In a nutshell, School Food Champions gives Key Stage 3 students the opportunity to uncover the problems and injustices within our food system, gather evidence from their school and community, and devise a social action project that will transform their school canteens to put child health first!
The programme is fully funded (including remuneration for teachers), fully resourced and our wonderful team will be there to support you every step of the way. By taking part, your students get the incredible opportunity to:
- Deep-dive into interesting topics such as food injustice and inequality
- Learn to use their voice to make positive changes in their community
- Develop their public speaking, negotiation and project planning skills
- Take part in citizen science, mapping their school and community
- Transform school food to be more nutritious, delicious and appealing
- Make a change and have fun while doing so!
To date, over 1,200 School Food Champions have taken action up and down the country — and we’ve seen pupils come up with loads of creative ways to improve their school food and dining experience! From redesigning desserts to make them more nutritious but as tasty as ever, and doubling the number of seats in canteens so that more students can eat to setting up breakfast clubs to provide a healthy start to students’ days — we are so inspired by the change that young people are leading. You can read our celebration report for more brilliant examples!
Our Offer for 2023/4
This year, we are taking School Food Champions to the next level, building a movement of 15,000 young people to become change-makers across 50 schools! We’ll break it down for you, and explain the programme in three main stages:
- September — December 2023
We’ll start your journey off with a powerful assembly to build hype for the year ahead! Then you’ll kickstart a series of five sessions delivered across an entire year group, facilitated by your teachers within curriculum time (e.g. PSHE or form groups). Here, students will get to grips with the problems with our food system, learn the ways it’s rigged against them, map their local area, and begin practising their campaigning skills by taking part in a collective social action moment.
- January — June 2024
After learning the basics, 10-15 KS3 students will then come together as one mighty School Food Champions team, who will meet weekly for an extracurricular club delivered by your teachers but fully resourced by us! Their mission — to scope their existing school food, continue developing their skills as young campaigners and most importantly, create a social action project that will improve their school food and dining experience for the better!
- February — July 2024
Two team members from your School Food Champions team will then have the opportunity to expand their campaigning skills further. They will represent your school and join a School Food Champions network of 100 pupils nationwide, working with other young people to elevate the youth voice and drive meaningful change in schools across the UK!
What Will You Receive?
- Funding: Thanks to the generosity of the #iWill Fund*, each school will receive £1,000 as remuneration for the staff member(s) who coordinate the programme, as well as £100 for resources required throughout the year.
- Resources: Your school will receive physical resources worth £300 — think workbooks and exciting merch — in addition to access to our brand new digital platform, with competitions and activities to engage your pupils online.
- Training and year-round support: There will be training for staff who deliver the programme and ongoing advice and support from us throughout the year. Our team will always be on hand to answer any of your questions or queries.
- Inspiring youth leadership: You’ll be matched with a Bite Back Young Leader — aged 18-21 — who will inspire, mentor and support pupils throughout their School Food Champions journey!
- Access to a network of like minded schools: We’ll help to connect you to other local and national groups working to put child health first.
What Are The Benefits To My School And Pupils?
- Students’ learning will be enhanced through curriculum links with a range of subjects. They will develop persuasive writing and presentation skills, required for English Language and Literacy and they will gain an increased understanding of Government and political processes which feed into the Citizenship curriculum and PSHE Association’s ‘living in the wider world’ core theme.
- Pupils will develop strong employability skills such as project planning, public speaking, stakeholder engagement and leadership, to help them with their future careers!
- Students will learn about some of the injustices and inequalities underpinning society and how they as individuals can play a role in fighting these, contributing to their Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development .
- Your school will become a setting that prioritises child health and provides every student with the opportunity to thrive, which in turn can improve behaviour and attainment.
To apply to join our cohort and deliver School Food Champions in your school, please fill out our short application form and one of our team will contact you to discuss next steps!
What Do I Need to Do Next?
Once you’ve applied, you’ll need to get plans in place detailing how you’ll deliver the programme in your school. This includes:
- Allocating curriculum time: We’ll provide all the resources you need — from Powerpoint presentations and workbooks, to digital activities and ice-breaker ideas, so there is minimal planning — you just need to allocate curriculum time and prepare your teachers to carry out the year group sessions in the first term.
- Selecting a teacher who will coordinate the programme in your school, which involves setting up a year group assembly for us to introduce the programme; ensuring the delivery of the whole year group sessions and providing support for your School Food Champions team in meeting with school decision makers.
- Selecting a teacher to lead the School Food Champions team through terms 2 and 3. This could be the same person who is responsible for coordinating the programme, or someone different.
How Will We Choose Schools?
We have a limited number of funded places available for September and applications for these are now open! If we receive more applications than we can fund, to ensure we’re providing opportunities for change in the communities most impacted by health inequalities, we will prioritise applications from schools which meet the following criteria:
- Locations where Bite Back are building our regional presence
- Demographic criteria — above national average % of pupils receiving free school meals, areas with high obesity rates, LAs with the highest proportion of neighbourhoods in the most deprived 10% of neighbourhoods on the IMD 2019.
If you are a parent or student and would like your school to join School Food Champions, you can nominate your school here.
*The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £66 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. Bite Back 2030 is acting as a match funder and awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill Fund.