Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

UC education expert backs food in schools proposal

UC education expert backs proposal of a food in schools programme

May 2, 2013

A University of Canterbury (UC) education expert is backing the proposal of a food in schools programme.

UC Associate Professor Missy Morton says the programme is a fantastic opportunity to build on the work in the education, health and community sectors that is already underway in schools.

``It is a perfect chance to put in place policy that is based on evidence that is well researched, both locally and internationally,’’ Professor Morton says.

Prime Minister John Key has not ruled out government support for a food in schools programme aimed at decile one and two schools. Mana Party leader Hone Harawira's Education (Breakfast and Lunch in Schools) Amendment Bill is expected to get its first reading next month.

Professor Morton says students focus better on learning and assessment when they are not hungry.

``They are engaged and participating when they can focus on the activities at hand and benefit more from those activities when they are healthy. We have heard a lot recently about how a small country like Finland performs really well on international tests which measure students' learning.

``An important area where Finland performs considerably better than New Zealand is that even the lowest scoring Finnish students score better than the best scoring students from a number of other OECD countries.

``In New Zealand there is a large gap between the scores of students who perform well and those that perform less well. New Zealand stands out as having the largest gap between these two groups of students.

``What sets Finland apart? All schools in Finland provide lunch for all students, regardless of socio-economic status. Finland sees this as an investment in education, for individual students, but more importantly for the benefit of Finland both socially and economically.

``The benefits for the community might be less obvious, but they are just as significant. Here in Christchurch, a number of primary and secondary schools have food provided by local community groups.

``Students at those schools have told us that shared breakfasts have also become a good reason for going to school earlier, a chance to talk about homework and issues in a less formal venue.

``If this bill were passed and it no longer fell to those community groups to provide food to decile one and two schools, the community groups might then be able to support decile three or four schools.

UC sports education expert Associate Professor Nick Draper says the nutritional value of the lunch items available at school canteens would have important health and educational benefits for all students.

``Benefits include improvements in concentration and focus in afternoon teaching sessions as well as longer-term health benefits for New Zealanders.

``Positive changes were brought about through education initiatives such as Jamie Oliver’s in the United Kingdom, who showed what could be achieved cooking with fresh foods rather than processed foods,’’ Professor Draper says.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Wellington Rugby Zeroes: Sevens To Move To Hamilton

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester: “The Sevens has been a big part of recent Wellington history but it was time for the event to move on… Wellingtonians have been voting with their feet in the last few years and we’ve seen the result in dwindling crowd numbers and lower ticket sales.” More>>

ALSO:

Matafeo & Dravid: The Billy T And Fred Award Winners For 2017

At the final show of the 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival powered by Flick Electric Co. the Festival came to a close after 115 shows in Auckland and 68 shows in Wellington. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: What’s Fair? Tax and Fairness

This is an excellent and timely book, since apart from general statements about increasing or mostly reducing tax, there has been very little comment or debate as to whether we should pay tax at all and how much tax should each of us pay. More>>

Ockham Awards: Globally Lauded Novelist Wins NZ’s Biggest Fiction Prize

Internationally renowned Ngāruawāhia resident Catherine Chidgey has won New Zealand’s richest writing award, the $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize, for her novel The Wish Child. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland