School food standards and labelling requirements: governors' role

Understand what the food standards are and how you can monitor compliance, including what questions to ask. Plus, get to grips with Natasha's Law and the allergen labelling requirements.

Last reviewed on 26 June 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 39843
  1. School food standards: requirements 
  2. Natasha's Law: allergen and food labelling requirements 
  3. How to monitor compliance with food standards and labelling

School food standards: requirements 

There are legal standards for school food, set out in The Requirements for School Food Regulations 2014. The legislation specifies which types of food and drinks should be served at school and how often.

These regulations are compulsory for:

  • All maintained schools
  • Certain academies depending on when they were opened (check your funding agreement)

Academies that don't have these regulations covered in their funding agreements, are only expected to comply with them.

They cover food and drink provided to pupils on and off school premises up to 6pm

This includes:

  • School lunches
  • Breakfast clubs
  • Tuck shops
  • Mid-morning breaks
  • Vending machines
  • After-school clubs

Lunches provided to other people on a school's premises must also meet these standards.

They also apply to other food provided before 6pm on school trips where the trip is for at least 7 days.

At parties or celebrations to mark religious or cultural occasions At fundraising events As rewards for

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