Well, not quite. On Westbury station early this morning for the London train, but just for a micro second the thought occurred to me, maybe I should join the throng on the platform and go to Glastonbury instead — and astound everyone, especially myself. But I'd been promised a gold standard lunch at the Food for Life Partnership [FFLP] conference, and hadn't brought my wellingtons, or got a ticket!
The conference was a celebration of FFLP's achievements and a good news fest. It was also a coming together of health and educational interests (and acronyms); the admirable Sheila Dillon was in the chair. The Minister of State gave an out of touch talk, evaluators told their complex stories, and head teachers related, with passion and persuasion, how much FFLP has done for them and their children in a wide range of ways to do with educational achievement and motivation and also health and well-being, not just for schools, but in relation to communities as well.
The event was really a looking ahead to the end of FFLP's Big Lottery funding, with both its legacy and possible future impact in mind. The event ended with an opinionated panel discussion about securing FFLP gains for the future: not a Headteacher in sight. In all this, it was sometimes hard to keep focus on FFLP and its future amid so much discussion of the uncertainties around the new health structures both nationally and locally, and how these interact with schools (actually, they don't). As someone who struggles to comprehend the English health bureaucracy and its changes, it was mildly instructive to learn about the new Health and Wellbeing Boards, which were new to me, and about their relationship (if any) with the new clinical commissioning groups. And is there really something called Public Health England? It seems there is.
I wondered whether FFLP (or perhaps the Soil Association or Garden Organic) ought to be running a Freeschool (or three), and — more likely perhaps — whether The Food Programme will be having a half-hour dedicated to FFLP. I do hope so.