Could this be the UK’s healthiest school?

A primary academy heralded by the government as a model school for tackling childhood obesity has become the first UK school to receive a Soil Association award.

Washingborough Academy in Lincoln received the association’s gold catering mark for serving only local produce or food grown on-site in its canteen.

An orchard in its grounds, planted with sponsorship from local businesses, grows 22 varieties of apple.

Following the appointment of headteacher Jason O’Rourke seven years ago, the school has incorporated food education into all aspects of the timetable, with a commercial kitchen installed at child height.

It also won the 2016 national EDUcatering School Food Plan awards, and staff members have appeared on ITV’s Tonight programme to discuss its work on childhood obesity.

O’Rourke said: “One in five children joins primary school overweight or obese. By the time they leave primary school it’s one in three. As a headteacher, if one in three children left my school unable to read, I would be worried for my job.”

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