Healthy meals, better learners? Debating the focus of school food policy in England
AbstractPolicy makers in the UK are trying to improve school meals, by focusing on eating well. This article explores the way policies are framed by academic performance and health as a reason for providing school lunches. Using Nussbaum’s capability approach we argue that the purpose of schooling should be to provide young people with the ability to lead a life of choice. We argue that school meals are an important social good, which allow young people to develop critical skills around food which they can then use throughout their lives. We draw on evidence from two ethnographic research projects on food in schools, conducted in England. We question whether the collocation between healthy eating and learning should be the focus of school food reform and contemplate the role of society and government to provide children with healthy meals, irrespective of learning outcomes. School meals are more than good exam results.
CitationEarl, L. and Lalli, G. S. (2020) Healthy meals, better learners? Debating the focus of school food policy in England, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 41 (4), pp. 476-489. https://doi.org/10.1080/01425692.2020.1735999
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis in British Journal of Sociology of Education on 08/03/2020, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/01425692.2020.1735999 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/