Schools cannot be expected to solve the child obesity crisis, Ofsted chief to say

There is “no doubt” that childhood obesity poses a “serious public health challenge” but teachers must not be held responsible for tackling it, Amanda Spielman will tell a conference. The Telegraph reports. 

Addressing the Bryanston Education Summit in Dorset on Wednesday, Ms Spielman will tell delegates that schools cannot be left to fix all the “complex societal issues” facing young people.

Her comments come as Downing Street prepares to unveil its national child obesity strategy. It has been reported that proposals could include pupils being weighed and measured every year by their teachers. 

“Many undoubtedly require Government intervention and multifaceted solutions. But they cannot all fall to schools, and they often are completely inappropriate for measuring at inspection.”

The latest figures show one in five children is obese by the time they leave primary school.   Ms Spielman will tell delegates that she “almost choked” at the suggestion that inspectors should start taking account of children’s weight in judging schools.  

She will explain that obesity is just one of many examples where schools are “expected to address every one of society’s ills and inspection is supposed to be the tool to ensure they do it”.  

During school visits, Ofsted inspectors need to concentrate on examining whether children are receiving a good quality education and are taught in a safe environment, she will say, and imposing additional duties on inspectors will only “detract” from this.

Deprived areas of the country are particularly affected, with more than double the proportion of obese children compared to more affluent areas. The figures from NHS Digital, show obesity levels have risen two years running for children starting school, despite repeated pledges by ministers and health officials to take action on obesity.

Read the full article Schools cannot be expected to solve the child obesity crisis, Ofsted chief to say

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Categories: Infant, Ofsted, Parenting, Primary and Secondary.


  1. Natalie Weir

    And is not learning about being a healthy weight and the importance of physical activity not best facilitated in a learning environment? Schools monitor a child’s performance in lots of different measures and there has got to be some accountability that schools are a great environment to instill learning for life and this includes the importance of being a healthy weight and take part in physical activity. Schools do not like this responsibility because weight is such a subjective and emotive a subject but where else is an intervention to be placed to have a possible impact. I applaude the efforts to address and not ignore the issue.

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