Barking and Dagenham among highest for London healthy schools programme

Healthy schools celebrations at Barking Town Hall

Healthy schools celebrations at Barking Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Barking and Dagenham has the second-highest percentage of schools involved in a capital-wide healthy eating programme.

Just two years after Healthy Schools London was introduced, 50 of the borough’s schools have signed up, with 18 of those recipients of the scheme’s Silver Award – more than any other borough.

Councillors and educators gathered at Barking Town Hall on Wednesday last week to celebrate the feat, which means 37,400 children in the borough now attend a school registered with the initiative.

Introduced by the Mayor of London in April 2013, the programme requires schools to tackle health challenges reflecting local priorities as required in the new Ofsted framework.

Across the borough, 26 schools have achieved the bronze award, while Northbury Primary, in Northbury Close, Barking, became one of just a handful across the capital to pick up a gold award in May this year.

The silver award enables the council to work with schools on addressing some of their health and well-being priorities, such as childhood obesity.

Cllr Evelyn Carpenter, cabinet member for education and schools, said: “With 26 schools achieving the bronze award, 18 securing the silver award and recipients of one of only a handful of gold awards across London, the Healthy Schools London programme has been very successful in our local schools. It has raised the profile of health and wellbeing in schools, supported by training and networking events, helping to establish its place as an important tool to tackle issues like obesity and the importance of oral hygiene.

Most Read

“From the bronze level award and up, the programme helps us to improve the health of children and young people by providing a monitoring and evaluation tool enabling us as a local authority to advise, support and challenge schools on health and wellbeing issues.”

In July, Barking and Dagenham council also signed the Sustainable Fish Cities pledge, making it the latest local authority to make sure that all fish served in school meals will be demonstrably sustainable.

Covering the area’s 3.5million primary and secondary school dinners every year, the commitment will support fisheries and fish farms proved to be working sustainably.