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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-22865: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 29 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what support it has provided in each of the last five years to schools to educate pupils regarding food allergies.

Answered by: John Swinney 3 May 2019

The health and wellbeing of children and young people within our schools is vitally important and a priority of this government.

All school pupils health and wellbeing is underpinned by Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), Scotland’s curriculum for all children and young people aged 3-18. It is designed around eight curriculum areas, including Health and Wellbeing, and aims to develop the attributes, knowledge and skills needed to flourish in life, learning and work. For each curriculum area CfE has experiences and outcomes which set out what each pupil is expected to learn and how they are expected to progress through four levels of learning. It is up to teachers to decide what to study against the experiences and outcomes each year.

The Food and Health section within Health and Wellbeing sets out the experiences and outcomes that pupils should have during the course of their day to day learning about food choices and the relationship to their health and wellbeing. This learning can be delivered through a variety of classes and activities to help to ensure that pupils develop a full understanding of food issues in their widest sense. For example, as well as learning how to cook, food education encompasses things like how to understand food labelling and recognise that some people may have dietary needs, such as allergies, that require them to avoid certain foods.

In addition, Education Scotland have developed benchmarks to provide clarity on the national standards expected within each curriculum area at each level. They set out clear lines of progression across all curriculum areas from Early to Fourth Levels. Their purpose is to make clear what learners need to know and be able to do to progress through the levels, and to support consistency in teachers' and other practitioners' professional judgements. The benchmarks are designed to be concise and accessible, with sufficient detail to communicate clearly the standards expected for each curriculum level.