School Plates September update
September 2, 2021
As the new school term begins, School Plates has got lots of exciting news and updates to share with you. We’ve had a busy summer forming new partnerships and collaborations
This has been our most successful period since the programme began in 2018. Since May, we have increased our number of partners from 13 to 22, meaning that we are now actively working with 17 Local Authorities – over 11% of the total local authorities in England.
We have estimated that if an average-sized local authority introduces one new meat-free day per week, that is 627,568 meals switching from meat-based to meat-free each year. (1). Times that by 17 and that is potentially 10.68 million meals (2) switching from meat-based to meat-free each year as a result of School Plates. These are big numbers, but our partners are introducing many more changes than this, meaning that our true impact will be even greater.
We are collaborating with Eco-Schools (part of Keep Britain Tidy) to introduce plant-based food as part of their accreditation programme. We have proposed 12 new actions that schools can take to contribute towards their accreditation. In the last two-year period, Eco-Schools have had over 6,000 schools engage with the programme, giving us the potential to reach thousands of new schools. The new actions will launch in early September.
Over the last couple of months, the team have been busy putting together some brand new School Plates materials.
Our 24-page School Plates: The Guide will show you exactly WHY and HOW we’re revolutionising school food
We’ve also collaborated with a professional plant-based chef to create School Plates: The Recipes – a resource containing 35 new recipes designed specifically for schools. This is the first plant-based recipe book for primary schools in the UK, and therefore plugs a big gap for caterers.
We’re almost ready to share it with the world, so stay tuned to our social media channels, and website, in the coming weeks for the official launch!
Lots of our partners are relatively new so we’re working through the early stages of the programme with them on reviewing their existing menus and making suggestions to achieve healthier and more sustainable options that all children can enjoy. Watch this space as we’ll be reporting back on our progress each month and what we’ve been up to. We hope to see all these figures start to grow in the coming months and years as we increase our reach to more local authorities, multi-academy trusts and schools across the UK.