Joint report of the Healthy Schools Programme Manager and Public Health’s Health Improvement Manager
Purpose: To advise of the work of the County Council’s Public Health and Healthy Schools teams to improve nutrition and promote a healthy weight in children, young people and families, and encourage healthy eating in schools and early years settings.
The report of the Healthy Schools Programme Manager and Public Health’s Health Improvement Manager which outlined :-
· The work being done to promote healthy eating; to target children from deprived backgrounds; and in the Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency area; and other work that the County Council could do.
· How local elected Members, as community leaders, could assist.
The report was introduced by Ruth Stacey (Healthy Schools Programme Manager) and Helen Ingle (Health Improvement Manager, Public Health). Ruth Stacey and Helen Ingle also responded to Members’ questions.
In response to questions from Members, the following information was provided:-
· Officers considered it to be very helpful if Members could take with them, on their visits to schools, copies of the new Healthy Packed Lunch leaflet to discuss with teachers. It was agreed that, once the new leaflet was finalised, copies would forwarded to elected Members.
· Very useful summary data was available, arising from the Growing Up in North Yorkshire survey, about the issues (eg healthy eating, physical activity, mental health) relevant to each school. Members might find such data helpful if visiting schools in their local areas. The Officers offered to share links to the reports.
· No change in trend regarding children’s dental health had been picked up yet following changes in obesity levels. However, Helen Ingle undertook to question colleagues in Public Health about this and to inform County Councillor John Ennis of the outcome.
· No information was held about the reasons why a concerning number of pupils in years 8/10 had nothing to eat or drink for breakfast. The Officers advised they would consider this when preparing for the next survey in summer 2022.
· Members welcomed the idea of schools appointing a governor to oversee school food.
· Members expressed support for including nutrition in the curriculum.
· County Councillor Paul Haslam offered to send the Officers the link to a company called Pro Veg who were currently working with Leeds Education Council and could help to get more healthy and interesting diets into schools. He also highlighted that there were at least two national companies, Greggs and Kellogg’s, which had breakfast in school trusts and he felt it would be very helpful to enter into partnership with such trusts. He also encouraged greater ambition in order to attract grants from other organisations, eg Public Health England, to improve education about diet and lifestyle. The Officers thanked County Councillor Paul Haslam for these suggestions.
· Herbie the carrot mascot was still used but had been decommissioned during the Covid pandemic because he attracted close contact between children.
The Chairman thanked County Councillor Paul Haslam for making the suggestion that this topic should be considered by the Committee.
(a) That the report, which Members describe as “excellent”, be welcomed.
(b) That Ruth Stacey and Helen Ingle be thanked for attending this meeting.
(c) That the suggested action which local elected Members can take, to assist the promotion of healthy eating and healthy weight, as set out in section (e) of the report, be noted.
(d) That the relevant Executive Members be thanked, on behalf of this Committee, for all the work being done by the Public Health and Health Schools teams to improve nutrition and promote a healthy weight in children.