Lifeskills survey of schools
Minister for Health welcomes the publication of the “Lifeskills” survey of schools
- The Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly TD, has welcomed the publication of the 2012 Lifeskills Survey of schools.
The lifeskills survey of schools found that schools are playing an important role in promoting a Healthy Ireland, through healthy eating initiatives at primary level and the continued dedication of many teachers in supporting pupils in physical activity outside of school hours, even where this is not a mandatory requirement. However, while most post-primary schools have a healthy eating policy, the availability of ‘junk food’ remains a challenge, as are the data relating to physical education.
· The Department of Health is working with the Department of Education and Skills, and other key stakeholders, to develop guidelines on the best way for schools to promote healthy eating, especially when there is a school shop or vending machines.
· In addition, the Special Action Group on Obesity reported to the Minister for Health on reducing consumption of “top shelf foods” (as defined in the Healthy Eating Guidelines) and the Department of Health is developing an Action Plan on foot of those recommendations.
· Minister Reilly has said that his Department and the HSE will continue to support schools to ensure our young people make informed and healthy choices and look after their own health.
Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn TD, responding to the lifeskills survey of schools said:
- The vast majority of our primary schools are doing great work when it comes to promoting healthy eating during the school day and these efforts are vital in our efforts to tackle the growing problem of obesity.
While I cannot dictate what food or junk foods schools sell through vending machines, I believe we can work together to also include healthy alternatives and the right information so that young people can make informed choices.
I intend to issue advice to schools via a circular shortly on the appropriate use of vending machines.
The Lifeskills survey of schools is available on the Department’s website at: http://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Education-Reports/Results-of-the-Department-of-Education-and-Skills-%E2%80%98Lifeskills%E2%80%99-Survey-2012.pdf