On-Site Coaching for Cities and Schools in 7 countries!
Every city or region participating in SchoolFood4Change can hold two on-site coaching and capacity building sessions in the course of the project. This aims to ensure successful implementation of the Whole School Food Approach in the different SchoolFood4Change cities and participating schools.
The Whole School Food Approach (WSFA) is a holistic place-based model to promote sustainable food systems, taking schools as a starting point to initiate transformation. As such, this framework supports all actors in the school environment in their efforts to develop and implement a healthy and sustainable (school) food culture. For capacity building within these school environments and with regards to the WSFA implementation, every city or region participating in SchoolFood4Change can make use of the opportunity to organize one or two on-site coaching workshops in the course of the project. For this purpose, a standard coaching plan that can be adapted to the local context and needs has been developed with the aim to ensure successful implementation of the Whole School Food Approach (WSFA) in the different SchoolFood4Change cities and participating schools.
To date, seven on-site trainings have been successfully performed in Germany, Austria, Estonia, Italy, France, Spain and Belgium. It is outstanding that the organisers of the trainings have used this opportunity not only to share and build knowledge, but also to bring together a large number of relevant stakeholders to talk about school meals and SchoolFood4Change. More than 70 people participated in the coaching in Lyon (France), for instance. These stakeholders (teachers and principals, catering companies, municipal (social) services and the local government), who engage with the school (food) system through different points of contact, but are rarely meeting, were brought together, resulting in a common understanding for the need to work together.
As a result of these gatherings, school and city representatives are now more aware of the WSFA actions and activities in their municipality and their responsibilities. In this way the foundation for a renovated future cooperation and the continuous WSFA implementation in the cities’ schools was set. It became clear that bringing together many different stakeholders does not necessarily slow down conversations, as one might think. The opposite is true: bringing relevant stakeholders together can lead to very fruitful exchanges and learning. The diversity of stakeholders allowed for concrete thinking and productive dsicussions, as no thought or open question had to be postponed due to non-presence of responsible actors. So, training and networking can go hand in hand!
Beyond that, the on-site coaching and capacity building sessions ensure that the participating SchoolFood4Change cities and schools feel supported in the implementation of the WSFA and are more confident in sharing their knowledge with other interested cities and schools.
Furthermore, the on-site training sessions help to underscore the European dimension of the SchoolFood4Change project and to strengthen the network of relevant stakeholders of the school (food) system, which facilitates the necessary cooperation.