The Institute recognised the need for Elementary Food Hygiene training for school students some years ago.  The Food Hygiene in Schools Initiative was launched to meet that need. Schools can be approved to provide the REHIS course to students aged 13-18 inclusive, attending the school full time and who participate in the course as part of their home economics education.

The initiative allows Home Economics teachers to run the Elementary Food Hygiene Course, at a reduced cost, in schools only. They are not approved to run the course in the wider community. However, they receive the same support as that provided to normal REHIS Approved Training Centres and all the REHIS training resources are available for their use.The initiative started in 1993 and since then REHIS has issued 56,500 certificates to school children.

Since 2007 the Initiative has been funded by the Food Standards Agency Scotland and will continue to receive funding until 2015

During 2011 the Introduction to Food Hygiene Course was also made available for delivery in schools. This is a non examinable awareness raising course which is more suited to some pupils.

Both qualifications are valued by teachers and pupils alike, apart from receiving information about how to handle food safely, the pupils are gaining nationally recognised qualifications which are valued by employers throughout the food industry. The courses also fit into the   framework for the Scottish Government’s Curriculum for Excellence.

Here are a few quotes about the Initiative from HE Teachers and one from a pupil.

Liz Nicoll HE teacher at Preston Lodge High School said,

“I cannot stress enough the addition REHIS makes to the delivery of our hygiene course elements. The resources are superb and appreciated by the pupils as they are clear and easily understood. Sincere thanks from the Home Economics department”

L.Carleton, PT Home Economics Shawlands Academy said,

“We would like to thank you and your colleagues at the FSA and REHIS for supporting our students through the Food Hygiene Certificate course. This is a very valuable and worthwhile course which our students appreciate and enjoy. They can see the benefits to having the knowledge, training and certificate that the course provides. We also find that working towards the certificate is an excellent motivating tool for our students and they feel a sense of pride and satisfaction when they are awarded the certificate”

Susan Imlach, Liberton High School said,

“I have chatted to my colleagues and S5 students about the benefits of completing the REHIS course. My colleagues agree that it adds value to what we are teaching in our Hospitality courses, the materials are easy to use and the students enjoy using them, for some of our students who have very few qualifications it helps to develop their confidence in their abilities and often gives them a direction to pursue for employment which they would not have had the confidence to do so otherwise.

Matthew Gilliland a pupil at Liberton High School said ‘I have already used the certificate to add to my qualifications when applying for a job at Pizza Hut and on my college application to study Professional Cookery’

Scott Robertson, Principal Teacher of Art, Home Economics & Technology, and Stewarton Academy said,

“Stewarton Academy pupils have greatly benefited from participating in the REHIS scheme once again this year.  There have been several of our pupils left school this year and gone on to employment in the catering and hospitality industries; having gained their REHIS certificate has allowed them to work with more confidence in these sectors as well as give them an extra edge when interviewing for posts.

Some pupils have also elected to go into further education at local colleges relating to the catering and hospitality industries, which their REHIS certificate has also helped them with. Not only this; in a climate of educational change/curriculum for excellence, REHIS allows pupils to participate in a course out-with their normal curriculum which helps to develop their self esteem and confidence”.

Bishopbriggs Academy is one of the schools delivering the Elementary Course. The photograph shows pupils from the school with their certificates.