About the school food standards

The current school food standards were introduced by government in January 2015 and cover food right across the school day. All maintained schools in England, as well as academies and free schools set up before September 2010 or after June 2014, are legally required to meet the standards. Academies created between September 2010 and June 2014 are also encouraged to use them.

Meeting these standards means your school food:

  • is healthy, balanced and nutritious
  • provides children with the energy and nutrients they need to do well at school and
  • helps children to develop healthy eating habits.

The standards cover the main food groups outlined below. They offer guidance to schools on how to provide a wide range of foods across the school week:

  • Starchy foods
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
  • Milk and dairy
  • Foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt
  • Plus, healthier drinks

Read the legislation underpinning School Food Standards in full.

Read a guide to the school food standards.