Roy Ballam, Managing Director and Head of Education

British Nutrition Foundation

Roy works for the British Nutrition Foundation, a charity [not-for-profit], based in London, UK. It was founded in 1967 and is honoured to have HRH The Princess Royal as its Patron. The vision is: Everyone can access healthy, sustainable diets. The mission is: Translating evidence-based nutrition science in engaging and actionable ways. Roy originally trained as a secondary school teacher, and has been a Principal Examiner. Roy has responsibility for governance, finance, operations and optimisation of resources at the British Nutrition Foundation, reporting directly to Trustees, while also continuing to lead BNF’s Education work. He also has oversight of BNF branding and IT strategy, as well as the BNF Healthy Eating Week for schools and workplaces. Roy oversees the Foundation’s education programme, Food – a fact of life, and has worked on a number of UK and European food and nutrition schools programmes and initiatives. Education work includes the production of innovative resources to support the teaching and learning of food and nutrition in schools, working with government, examination organisations, NGOs and industry. He is also involved in providing high-quality professional development for teachers via face-to-face and online training.

Food – it’s a fact of life, so why not teach it?

The four countries of the UK each have their own curricula, all of which include mandatory food education (pupils aged 5 to 14 years in ‘state’ schools). In England, mandatory food education was originally introduced in 1989 for pupils aged 5-11 years, through the subject Design and technology (although most schools for pupils aged 11-14 years taught ‘food’), and later made mandatory for all pupils (5-14 years) in 2014 . In response to mandatory food education, in 1989 the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), in partnership with government, developed Food – a fact of life (FFL), a comprehensive food education programme, to support teachers implementing the curriculum, as well as healthy eating guidelines. The original FFL teaching materials were launched between 1991-1997, after a series of school based pilots. Since 1997, the BNF has sustained the FFL programme and it continues to grow and flourish, moving online and keeping up-to-date with curricula changes, pedagogical approaches and nutrition science. Roy will provide an overview of FFL, within the context of the current health status of UK schoolchildren, school food policy and teacher training. The rationale and development of food education competences for pupils and frameworks of teacher knowledge and skills required to teach food will be reviewed. Key metrics of the programme will be showcased, highlighting the use of the programme by schools, as well as the impact of teacher training on teaching. The presentation will finish on the success of BNF Healthy Eating Week.