Recognising the need to provide diverse, nutritious options for school meal boxes, school catering stalwart Pasta King has developed single and two-portion pouches of pasta sauces in 300g and 500g portion sizes, suitable for home use. The sauces are nutritionally balanced and are vegetarian and can be used with pasta or rice or to make soups or pizza toppings. 


Commenting on the development, Pasta King CEO Mark Stone said, “We have been working for some time on a smaller portion option to suit those who want to use our freshly-prepared, chilled sauces to provide a nutritious solution when trying to feed children at home during lockdown and holidays.”


With more than 25 years’ experience of supplying top quality, award-winning school meals, Pasta King is a trusted supplier to schools and contract caterers. For further information and details of how to order, please email or tel 07792 645515.

Celebrating National Handwriting Day

Let’s be honest, this year we need things to celebrate, and nothing can be better for your mental health than putting pen to paper or stylus to tablet and getting those thoughts down. So, we must teach children the skill of handwriting. 

We spoke to Andrew Clark, Apple Teacher and Deputy Head at Chorley St James C.E. Primary School, who gave us his seven simple steps for achieving handwriting mastery in the classroom.



Seven simple steps to achieve handwriting mastery

  • Start at the very beginning it’s a perfect place to start

Can the pupil hold a pencil correctly? Do they have control of the pencil? Start by assessing them to see if they can write necessary lowercase letters.  Making it fun for pupils is the key to keeping then engages.


  • Letter formation

Ensure that letters are being formed in the right way.  Bad habits picked up now can carry on into secondary school, so it’s essential to get this right.  EdTech can help you track letter formation for every child and see who needs extra support.

  • Short sentences

Look at short sentences about the world around you, for example, in the classroom this could be ‘I sat on the mat’ if working at home this could be ‘My cat is good’.  Get the pupil to come up with some of their own short sentences and try those.

  • Moving to cursive

As the pupil masters individual letters, it’s then time to move onto cursive.  With cursive writing, repetition is key.  Firstly, trace each letter one by one.  Then start with short words to get the formation right, such as bat, cat, may, boy, girl etc.  With cursive, it’s all about practising to get the flow right.

  • Write your own story

Nothing gives me more joy than writing their own stories and at this stage, pupils should be able to start writing their own short stories, which is, after all, where all the great authors such as David Walliams and JK Rowling started their writing journey.

  • Look to technology

One tricky thing with handwriting is monitoring letter formation and writing progress when you have a class of 30 pupils.  Technology has been a lifeline through COVID, as our pupils and we took to home learning like ducks to water.  But now as we head back to the classroom, edTech can help teachers gain something that will be desperately needed, more time.  We use technology to helps us with handwriting, and we’ve seen some fantastic progress, the children are more engaged, and we’ve seen a massive improvement in handwriting.

  • Other useful places for resources

There are so many useful places to look for resources, here’s a few I use. 

  • @Twinkl
  • @NHA_News
  • @UKEdChat
  • @Teachhandwriting

So this National Handwriting Day (23rd January), why not help your class celebrate the joy of handwriting by treating your class to some free handwriting lessons on a tablet – they’ll love it, and you’ll see a positive impact on engagement and attainment.

Andrew Clark is a Deputy Head and Apple Teacher from Chorley St James C.E. Primary School who use Kaligo App to help their children master handwriting in the classroom.  You can sign up for your free eight-week trial here.


Amazon offering free resources to help families with home learning

What is Amazon offering?


  • Amazon Maths4All now offers hundreds of free maths games, apps and challenges on Alexa, worksheets for Kindle and Fire Tablets, and caters for a range of ages across primary and secondary school, learning styles and abilities.
  • Students can tune into a maths lesson from Rachel Riley, Countdown presenter and the nation’s favourite mathematician, who joined our Very Important Breakfast Clubs to play the numbers game and show that maths is ‘easy as Pi’.
  • You can even involve Alexa in learning from home. Get started by saying, “Alexa, ask the Maths Coach to start a test”, or “Alexa, ask the Maths Coach for a hard addition test”.
  • Amazon has injected some fun into times tables lessons with free games available to download on Amazon Fire Tablets. Older students can try out Timestables Rockstars while younger learners can play ‘Meet the Numberblocks!’.



  • The Hour of Code Dance Party is the perfect feel-good Friday finish after a long week of remote learning. This interactive dance-themed online coding tutorial gives students the opportunity to build their computer science skills while have some fun coding characters to dance to songs from leading artists.
  • Dr Ranj Singh, the NHS doctor and BAFTA award-winning TV presenter, is providing a short brain-busting lesson in biology. Children in years 1 -7 can learn about the growing brain and how to keep your brain healthy.
  • Amazon Future Engineer is our comprehensive childhood-to-career programme designed to inspire, educate and enable children and young adults from lower-income backgrounds to try computer science. Earlier this year, Amazon Future Engineer launched free virtual coding programmes to help young people build computer science skills while learning at home.
  • Those aged 11-16 can enter the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize, which challenges students to develop technological innovations to help solve some of the world’s biggest issues (entries close 12th February 2021)


  • Young people and parents can listen to stories at, with specially curated categories such as ‘Littlest Listeners’ and ‘Elementary’ offering free audio books. Get whisked away to Alice In Wonderland (read by Scarlett Johansson), Jane Eyre (read by Thandie Newton), Anne of Green Gables (Read by Rachel McAdams) and Frankenstein (read by Dan Stevens).

Physical Education

More information can be here:


93% of education professionals believe they should be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccine

And over a third say they should be in the same category as over 80s and keyworkers


More than 93% of headteachers, teachers and education support staff believe they should be listed in the priority list for a Covid-19 vaccine, with 42% claiming they should be categorised with the over 80s and key workers.


Currently, teachers and support staff are not listed on the vaccine priority list, despite them still working in schools for vulnerable children, children of critical workers and learners undertaking essential exams and assessments.


New Directions Education, Wales’ largest education recruitment company and one of the leading providers of supply teachers and long-term staff across the UK, surveyed over 1,300* headteachers, teachers, teaching assistants, support, and administrative school staff about their feelings on the vaccine and how education staff should be prioritised. 


Of those surveyed, 89% said they would take the vaccine, if offered, and nearly two thirds (58.8%) believe they should be prioritised in the first two tiers of vaccinations.


According to the New Directions Education survey, front line teaching staff also appear to have borne the brunt of the infections in school, with 11% of teachers asked saying they had tested positive for Coronavirus compared with 8% for all education staff.


Gary Williams, Director of New Directions Education, said: “We have been supporting schools and colleges in Wales, the Midlands and the North West of England during the pandemic and have seen first-hand the difficult conditions and stress that working under the cloud of Covid-19 has had on education staff.


“With the wonderful news that three vaccines had been approved for use in the UK, we were disappointed to see that teachers and support staff were not included specifically on the priority list, and so wanted to ask the education professionals themselves what they thought.”


“Unsurprisingly, and resoundingly, most felt that education staff should be pushed up the priority list to allow all children back to access classroom-based education.” Gary added.


“Working in a school, in any capacity, during a global pandemic is not an easy thing to do. Staff face the prospect of infection every day but have carried on with their important work regardless. Parents who are now home-schooling will no doubt appreciate the work of teachers and education staff even more.”


A petition of more than 46,000 signatures prompted a debate with MPs in Parliament this week, and UK Government’s vaccine rollout minister Nadhim Zahawi said that teachers would be prioritised along with other front line workers once the first phase of vaccinations had been carried out.** 

Likewise in Wales, over 16,000 people have signed a petition to prioritise teachers, schools and childcare staff for the vaccine.

Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams has said that teachers will not be pushed up the priority list, as other more vulnerable people would suffer, however evidence will be submitted to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) as they make further decisions on the further rollout of the programme. ***

For more information about New Directions Education visit  


Coram’s education charities launch free resources to support children’s wellbeing, literacy and learning at home

Coram’s education charities, Coram Life Education, Coram Beanstalk and Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation, have developed a programme of free online resources for teachers and parents to use during the lockdown, helping to boost children’s emotional wellbeing as well as their academic learning at this time. 


Coram Life Education, the UK’s leading provider of children’s Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education, has launched SCARF at Home, a programme of activities for primary school teachers to share with parents, helping children to learn the valuable life skills needed to help them be happy, healthy and safe.  


The activities, developed by teachers, are part of the charity’s online SCARF programme, promoting the values of Safety, Caring, Achievement, Resilience and Friendship. Over 45,000 teachers across the UK are now SCARF subscribers, and they have told the charity that what they most need during this time is engaging, fun and memorable activities to share with parents.  


SCARF at Home focuses on the ways children can keep themselves healthy and safe, including staying safe online, and the skills needed to help them look after their bodies. Older children learn about assertiveness, recognising the influence of friends and how to think critically about the decisions they make and managing risks safely. 


The activities are designed for different age groups and include body bingo, bedtime routines, online safety activities, games and films and bullying discussion points. The resources also include the return of ‘Harold’s Daily Diary’, launched during the first national lockdown in March 2020, encouraging children to read about and send their ideas to Coram Life Education’s healthy-living giraffe mascot Harold, as he describes his experiences of staying safe and happy at home. 


Feedback from teachers who have tried the SCARF at Home resources has been positive, with one commenting: “When I received the SCARF alert I had to email you to say a big thank you! Really looking forward to the return of Harold’s diary in addition to all the lessons and resources.” 


Harriet Gill, Managing Director of Coram Life Education said: “Schools, children and parents have experienced so much disruption and uncertainty. With schools’ restricted opening, offering easy-to-access, free resources from reputable sources is invaluable, particularly as SCARF at Home focuses on children staying safe and well, both on and offline”. 


The SCARF at Home activities are suitable for children aged 3-11. To find out more and to access the toolkit, school teachers can visit ‘Harold’s Daily Diary’ is freely available to all at 


In addition to the SCARF at Home programme, Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation has launched resources for Key Stages 2, 3 and 4, which can be taught directly or explored independently, focusing on the language and history of Shakespeare.  Teachers can access these at  


National reading charity Coram Beanstalk is providing regularly updated tips and fun book-based activities to help children with their reading at home, including tips for ‘Growing A Love of Reading’, Story Dice illustrated by popular illustrator Nick Sharratt, video story readings and monthly #BeanstalkBrilliantBooks, all available at The website also features a ‘Stay Home And Read Every Day’ poster which families can display in their windows to ‘SHARE’ the books they are enjoying together as a family over the lockdown period. 


  • Letter calling for urgent review of Free School Meals sent to PM Boris Johnson  


  • The letter has been signed by Marcus Rashford, Jamie Oliver, Dame Emma Thompson, Tom Kerridge, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and over 40 major NGO’s, Charities and Educational Leaders 


  • This follows the call from the Food Foundation for Government to act urgently to protect the 4 million children living in poverty in the UK many of whom are not currently receiving Free School Meals 


  • 2.3 million children experienced food insecurity and during the 2020 summer holidays 850,000 children reported that they or their families visited a food bank (Food Foundation) 



Link to Letter 


In light of recent developments on current food provision for Free School Meal pupils during Covid-19 school closure, a letter signed by Marcus Rashford MBE, Jamie Oliver, Dame Emma Thompson, Tom Kerridge, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and over 40 NGOs, Charities and Education Leaders has today been sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling on the Government to conduct an urgent comprehensive review into Free School Meal policy across the UK to feed into the next Spending Review.  


The letter coordinated by the Food Foundation details the main areas the review should cover: 
It needs to: 

  1. Review the current eligibility thresholds for Free School Meals across all four nations to eliminate disparities and to explore whether disadvantaged children are being excluded in line with National Food Strategy recommendation. The ongoing eligibility for children with No Recourse to Public Funds should be considered explicitly.  
  2. Urgently consider how funding for Free School Meals can deliver the biggest nutritional and educational impact, supporting children’s learning and well-being throughout the school day and during the school holidays (including breakfast provision and the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme). This should include whether the current allowance for Free School Meals is adequate and whether funding for national breakfasts adequately covers all who would benefit from access to provision. 
  3. Explore how schools can be supported to deliver the best quality school meals which adhere to school food standards and which ensure the poorest children receive the best possible offer, including by introducing mandatory monitoring and evaluation on an ongoing basis of Free School Meal take-up, the quality/nutritional adequacy of meals, and how the financial transparency of the current system can be improved. 
  4. Consider what we have learned from Covid-19 and its impact on children in low-income families and the implications of this for school food policy for the next 5 years, as the country recovers. 
  5. Consider how existing school food programmes (such as Free School Meals, holiday and breakfast provision) can eliminate experiences of stigma for the poorest students. Review the impact that Universal Infant Free School Meals has had on stigma, health and education.  
  6. Consider the role of family income (wages and benefits) in enabling families to afford quality food in and outside of school time and during the holidays with choice and dignity.  

The process should involve input from all the devolved nations and done in consultation with children and young people, as well as teachers, charities, NGOs, frontline catering staff and school meals service providers. It should draw on evidence of food insecurity and health inequalities.   





Marcus Rashford MBE 
Jamie Oliver MBE 
Dame Emma Thompson 
Tom Kerridge 
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall 


Civil Society, Professional Bodies and Industry 

Anna Taylor OBE, Executive Director, Food Foundation 
Stephanie Slater, Founder/CEO, School Food Matters 
Naomi Duncan, Chief Executive, Chefs in Schools 
Mark Russell, Chief Executive, The Children Society 
Barbara Crowther, Coordinator, Children’s Food Campaign 
Paul Wright, Lead, Children’s First Alliance  
Andrew Forsey, CEO, Feeding Britain  
Rob Percival, Head of Policy, Soil Association 
Mark Game, CEO, The Bread and Butter Thing 
Clara Widdison, Head of Social Inclusion, Mayor’s Fund for London 
Stephen Forster, National Chair, LACA The School Food People 
Peter McGrath, Operational Director, Meals & More 
Bill Scott, Chair Poverty and Inequality Commission  
Lindsay Graham, Vice Chair Poverty and Inequality Commission 
Sabine Goodwin, Coordinator, Independent Food Aid Network UK 
Kieron Boyle, Chief Executive, Impact on Urban Health  
Sam Butters and Gina Cicerone, Co-CEOs, The Fair Education Alliance 
Melissa Green, General Secretary of the WI 
Jayne Jones, National Chair, ASSIST FM 
Alysa Remtulla, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Magic Breakfast 
Thomas Lawson, Chief Executive, Turn2Us  
Joseph Howes, Chief Executive, Buttle UK 
Graham Whitham, Director, Greater Manchester Poverty Action 
Judith Cavanagh, Coordinator, End Child Poverty Coalition 
Andy Elvin, CEO, TACT 
Irene Audain MBE, Chief Executive, Scottish Out of School Care Network 
Cara Cinnamon, CEO, Khulisa UK 
Dr. Nick Owen MBEC EO, The Mighty Creatives 
Joseph Howes, Chief Executive, Buttle UK 
Dr Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director, The Equality Trust 
Satwat Rehman, CEO, One Parent Families Scotland 
Claire Donovan, Campaigns Manager, End Furniture Poverty 
David Holmes CBE, CEO, Family Action 
Paddy Lillis, General Secretary, USDAW 
Alison Garnham, Chief Executive, Child Poverty Action Group  
James Toop, CEO, Biteback2030 
Jess McQuail, Director, Just Fair 
Sue Tanner, Oxford & District Action on Child Poverty, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Rose Hill & Donnington Advice Centre, Oxford 
Barbara Crowther, Coordinator, Children’s Food Campaign 
Jo Whitfield, CEO, Coop Retail 

Health Bodies  
Dr Max Davie, Officer for Health Improvement, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health 
Diane Ashby, Change Programme Director, The British Psychological Society 
Dr Ruth Allen, CEO, British Association of Social Workers 

Education Leaders 
Geoff Barton, General Secretary, Association of School and College Leaders.  
Emyr Fairburn, Headteacher, King’s Cross Academy 
Julian Drinkall, CEO, Academies Enterprise Trust 
Steve Taylor, CEO, Cabot Learning Federation  
Chris Tomlinson, CEO Co-op Academies Trust  
Catherine Barr, CEO, The Shared Learning Trust  
Susan Douglas, CEO, The Eden Academy Trust  
Elizabeth Wolverson OBE, Chief Executive, LDBS Academies Trusts (LAT and LAT2) 
Emma Knights OBE, Chief Executive, National Governance Association 
Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive, Centre for Literacy in Primary Education 
Russell Hobby, CEO, Teach First  


Anna Taylor, Executive Director Food Foundation said:  ‘How our country’s most needy children are fed should be a top government priority.  School food has lurched from one crisis to another in the last few months. It’s time for a root and branch review to put in place the provision needed and help our children recover from the tragedy which this pandemic has inflicted.’ 






Vodafone today announced it is providing additional home learning support by offering free and discounted access to four leading online education platforms – AzoomeeMarcoPolo World and New Skills Academy – via its loyalty programme for customers VeryMe. 


Vodafone customers can now get three months’ free access to Azoomee, an award-winning multimedia platform targeting primary school kids. Azoomee offers hundreds of fun educational videos, brain-boosting games and inspiring TV shows that are all designed to encourage kids to learn.  


Customers can also benefit from a 60 day free trial of MarcoPolo World School, an award-winning early learning app that is perfect for children aged 3-7 years and contains more than 500 video lessons and 3,000 interactive learning games. New lessons are added regularly and will help to keep kids engaged and motivated during lockdown. 


Vodafone customers can claim 33% off a subscription to[1]. The leading platform provides top quality learning through video tutorials from expert examiners and educators including, over 1,350 videos to support English and Maths at KS2 (Y5-6) and GCSE (Y9-11).  The platform is ideal to use alongside home learning materials provided by schools. 


With many adults using the lockdown and time indoors to learn a new skill, Vodafone is also offering 76% off New Skills Academy adult education courses. There are more than 750 courses to choose from, with the most popular including the British Sign Language Diploma, Floristry Academy Diploma and the Level 2 Teaching Assistant Diploma. 


Helping to keep children connected to education during the pandemic is a top priority for Vodafone. It launched its schools.connected programme in November, giving 350,000 data SIMs to more than 9,000 schools and further education colleges across the UK to give to children and young people who need them most. Vodafone also recently joined the Department of Education’s Get Help with Technology programme to increase data allowances for disadvantaged children.  It is also working with other UK operators to enable Oak National Academy to zero rate its online lessons. 


Max Taylor, Consumer Director, Vodafone UK said: “We’re committed to helping children stay connected to education throughout this lockdown.  We hope that giving access to inspiring and useful educational content via our popular loyalty programme Very Me, will be a help to families.  And to support those who don’t have the right connectivity, our schools.connected programme is helping 350,000 children and young people stay connected to online lessons, their teachers and friends. I’m proud we are supporting families at this challenging time.”  


Customers can redeem the e-learning resources via Vodafone’s VeryMe Rewards in the My Vodafone app. The Azoomee three months free trial is available from now until 28 February; the New Skills Academy offer is available from now until 28 February; 60 days free of MarcoPolo World School will be available from 18 January to 28 February; and reduced fee subscriptions to from 18th January to 14th March.


Canva for Education empowers teachers during lockdown with free, easy to use resources to keep learning alive remotely.


Carly Daff, Canva for Education’s Director of Product, explained it’s important to equip teachers with free, easy-to-use and intuitive tools to ensure they can keep students engaged in their learnings and looking forward to every class.


“Even before schools moved to an online environment, one of the biggest challenges facing educators was maintaining students’ engagement and shifting their attention away from everyday distractions like their phones and computers. With many schools still online around the world, and students in the comfort of their own homes with computers and phones at the ready, it’s now more important than ever to find ways to keep students proactively engaged virtually, paying attention and keeping them on track with their education.

With thousands of education-focused templates to work with, from online whiteboards, worksheets suitable for a range of subjects, group work activities, infographics, to posters, presentations, classroom decor kits, educational videos, flashcards plus many others, Canva for Education is a free one-stop-shop for creating and collaborating in an online classroom.

Our top tips for teachers includes:

  1. Focus on tools that offer real time collaboration– it is important students and teachers can continue to work and collaborate together, regardless of where they are located
  2. Use interesting tools, elements and content to keep students engaged – with remote and hybrid learning here to stay, we know the tools and elements educators use in the classroom not only need to contribute to a student’s learning experience, the output needs to be interesting, impressive and memorable to ensure full engagement.
  3. Make the technology easier and accessible to all – instead of using multiple platforms and softwares to teach, focus on using tools that offer the most value, all in one place, that are also useful across multiple platforms and devices. Less worries about technology and difficulties accessing certain platforms means more time to focus on remote learning, class collaboration and engagement

The Canva for Education platform is driven by one simple belief, technology should break down barriers, not build them, and this has been more essential than ever during lockdown. We’re proud of the way we have been able to keep learning alive and well during this unprecedented time, helping educators and students work together, even when they’re apart, and we will continue to evolve our product to ensure it truly supports the education sector in moving forward.

Canva for Education is entirely free for teachers and their students globally. Sign up today at:

New technology is driving standards in school sport

Filming sport in schools has forever been a frustrating experience. Teachers, heads of sport, examiners, students, and parents have all felt the pain of watching back footage from an inexperienced, volunteer camera operator, shaking and shuddering through 90 minutes of unappealing, eye-level action. The lack of video footage available to learners has consistently hindered the sporting development of talented athletes, looking for scholarships abroad or even professional opportunities after education.


This annoyance was felt by none more so than the Independent School Football Association’s head coach, Jono Santry. In recent years, the likes of Tyrone Mings, Calum Hudson-Odoi and Fraser Forster have passed through the programme and gone on to play international football. Always looking to raise the standards of his set-ups, Santry struggled to find a solution not only at ISFA, but at his own school, City of London. A new Danish product, Veo, became available in the UK in 2019 and changed everything. Veo’s solution comprised a mounted AI camera, which captures the game unmanned by intelligently tracking the ball, before its accompanying software platform turns around quick footage for analysis after a session.


“Veo has literally transformed our football programme,” said Santry. “For years we have been searching for a solution to video matches, tag events, analyse the footage, and share with the staff and players. I had given up on finding a one-fits-all solution that was both affordable and not reliant upon having staff to film, edit and produce the footage.”


Over the past year, Veo have seen a remarkable increase of popularity within the scholastic market. Over 200 schools in the UK have taken on the solution, battling age-old budget limitations that have frequently challenged sports departments all over the country. The ability to record and analyse invasion sports automatically has given both teachers, students, and parents refreshing new access to learner development. Teachers are now able to share footage with pupils and expose them to a level of self-assessment more common in higher education, while parents can now be engaged as the recordings can be shared.


Chris Hogg, Director of Sport for Torquay Academy talks about the ease and benefits of using the system in and out of the learning environment:


“It has benefited our players and coaches by allowing our games to be filmed in all weathers, without the need for a camera operator. The set-up is so simple and you can easily do two games back to back on one charge. Once the video has been clipped by the Veo robots, you can share the game or highlights with all parents and players. This has been an amazing option for at-home analysis for players on their phones or laptops which is a huge help with everyone’s busy schedules.” 


The COVID-19 climate has posed complications across the curriculum. With sport, this year has been particularly challenging to keep pupils engaged in their physical endeavours during a time when they weren’t allowed on the pitch. The technology has provided something of a lifeline for this quandary, enabling students to digitally engage with themselves, self-assess and develop using the online capabilities of the analysis platform. 


Jamie Harrison at Gordon’s School in Surrey, one of the earliest adopters of Veo, has developed four defined use-cases for the systems. 


“We use Veo in four key ways: performance analysis, academically for exam moderators and self- analysis, coaching CPD, and community moments. It’s easy to assemble, and when the students see it go up, they know straight away that they are being filmed which drives them to strive to perform better.”


The opportunity video gives students beyond school and college is another prime reason for the heavy adoption across the market. Park View Academy in County Durham is arguably one of the strongest further education academies in England, having consistently produced footballers that go on to sign professionally and semi-professionally at clubs, providing a much-needed pathway for talented athletes to develop and thrive. This is highlighted in the story of Trey Wade, a U.S.-born footballer who recently signed with Italian club A.C. Chievo Verona. He and Park View used Veo to highlight aspects of his game and send out to potential scouts. Trey was subsequently signed by the Serie B outfit in January 2020. 


School sport across the state and private sectors is fast becoming an equipment arms race, and victory is vital for recruitment and the retention of students. Gone are the days of misshapen cones, sloping mud-bath pitches and ill-fitting sports kits. Turn up to a school football match now and you are likely to see a UEFA-licensed coach leading a professionally structured warm-up, the outline of a GPS-tracking sports vest underneath each perfectly fitted football shirt, and an AI camera towering above the pitch to capture every moment. Times have changed, and solutions like Veo are making these developments available to sports departments around the country.


Oli Perkins is UK market manager at Veo, a global leader in AI-powered sports recording and analysis


A commitment to focus on sustainability in food supply for 2021 and beyond

Mike Meek, Procurement Director from allmanhall, the family run independently owned food procurement expert, looks at how the food supply chain can become more sustainable at a time when the planet is at a tipping point.


The 2020s have been termed the ‘critical decade’ for sustainable development implementation. While the topic can be overwhelming and riddled with confusing information, what is clear is that we need to collectively improve our understanding of sustainable food systems and identify actions that we can all put in place to make a difference.


Food and agricultural systems contribute significantly towards environmental damage, with much of this damage threatening to destabilise future global food and agriculture systems. Every step of the food supply chain accounts for the release of greenhouse gas emissions, accelerating climate change. Meanwhile, the conversion of land for agriculture tends to mean a further reduction of biodiversity. As we move towards planetary tipping points, the human race is presenting substantial and mounting challenges on food systems. Global warming is disrupting agricultural productivity, whilst a decline in both pollinators and increases in pests and disease are reducing crop yields. Water supplies for irrigation are also becoming more scarce, and soil fertility is deteriorating.


Climate change presents significant threats to global food security. Despite alarming possibilities, there is still time to act, with the UN warning we have ten years left to avert catastrophe and prevent irreversible planetary damage. The 2020s have been termed the ‘critical decade’ for sustainable development implementation.


What is a sustainable food system?


“A sustainable food system is a system which delivers food security and nutrition in a way that the environmental, social and economic bases of delivering food security will not be compromised in future. Food must thus be profitable throughout, provide broad benefits for society, and have a neutral or positive impact on the environment.”

  1. Nguyen, 2018


Currently most food policy aimed around mitigating climate change focuses on reducing CO2 emissions within transport and energy, and eating locally. Whilst policy changes in these areas is essential, it can be short-sighted often overlooking other vital emissions within the food sector, such as deforestation, fertilisers and storage. To gain better insight, we must first fully understand where and to what degree greenhouse gas emissions are released within each level of the supply chain. There are three key areas where emissions should be considered to ensure a full understanding: agricultural emissions; supply chain emissions; consumption and waste.


Meat consumption


At the very beginning of the food supply chain is agriculture. Different foods require different quantities of land, with animal products being a key driver of land-use change over the past 50 years. Increasing populations and protein diets places strain on land-use demands. Global meat consumption has quadrupled since 1965. Livestock presents a convergence of sustainability issues. However, livestock still has a place within sustainable food systems, bringing a range of nutritional benefits and potentially aiding carbon sequestration (where grazing is managed effectively). The production of meat can also make efficient utilisation of pastures otherwise unsuitable for crop growth. However, we should remember that livestock are still increasingly being fed unsustainably on dedicated feed crops. Certain meats are also environmentally ‘worse’, than others. Globally, beef accounts for almost 60% of the planet’s agricultural land use, despite only accounting for 24% of global meat consumption and 2% of overall global calorie consumption. Beef has the most considerable land requirements and highest emissions.


Global estimates of emissions by species


  1. This includes emissions attributed to edible products and to other goods and services, such as draught power and wool. Beef cattle produce meat and non-edible outputs. Dairy cattle produce milk and meat as well as non-edible outputs.




While a sustainable food supply won’t be achieved by a reduction in meat consumption alone, it is certainly a good place to start and something that can be turned into a very tangible goal by consumers and those working in the foodservice sector, alike.