A third of teachers don’t know where to go for information on food, farming and healthy eating practices, according to the results of YouGov research commissioned by AHDB.
When questioned, 33% of teachers said they were most likely to turn to non-specialist organisations, such as the Times Educational Supplement, BBC Bitesize or Google, ‘in the absence of clear authoritative sources’ on food, farming and healthy eating.
Stung by such findings, AHDB has combined with food, farming and education experts to create new guidelines for teachers and educational stakeholders to follow.
“The research gave us a clearer understanding of teacher’s needs and the challenges they face when teaching kids about food, farming and nutrition,” said AHDB director of communications, Christine Watts.
“To take the burden off time-pressed teachers, we’ve worked with industry and education experts, creating a checklist to empower teachers and those who produce content for schools, so they have confidence on the accuracy and integrity of information which is shared with young people.”
Consultation, carried out as the guidelines were produced, involved specialists from the NFU, LEAF, Public Health England, practicing teachers and awarding bodies.
“Children absorb so much at a young age and the new guidelines should help support children learning the truth about British farming and food from an early age,” said Joshua Payne, NFU education manager.
Carl Edwards, managing director and head of education at LEAF, added: “We know there’s a gap in knowledge with our next generation, which is why getting people out on farms really helps to inspire learning. After visiting, we need schools to continue to fuel that knowledge and share accurate facts.
“The new guidelines will help teachers use correct information to better connect young people with their food and the farming environment.”