AUT Professor appointed Chief Education Health & Nutrition Advisor

20 Apr, 2017
AUT Professor appointed Chief Education Health & Nutrition Advisor
Professor Grant Schofield

AUT’s Professor Grant Schofield has been announced the Ministry of Education’s new Chief Education Health and Nutrition Advisor, an appointment aimed at helping New Zealand learners reach their full potential.

The role will see Professor Schofield working part-time with the Ministry of Education to advance use of national and international health and nutrition research, in particular through the Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako framework.

With Physical Activity and Food & Nutrition comprising two core components of the New Zealand curriculum’s Health and Physical Education learning area, the Ministry is enthusiastic about the new partnership.

“Professor Schofield is one of New Zealand’s top physical activity and nutrition experts, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise,” says Secretary for Education Iona Holsted. “I am excited to see how he can help connect learning on health and physical activity right across the education pathway, inspiring a prolonged passion for being physically active, fit and healthy right from early learning through to secondary schools.”

Professor Schofield will provide advice on the design, integration and implementation of the curriculum. He is also tasked with highlighting knowledge gaps, critiquing new policy implications, and providing information that enables meaningful public debate on matters concerning health and nutrition education.

AUT Vice Chancellor Derek McCormack has expressed his strong support for the role, and the benefits it stands to offer young New Zealanders. "We are pleased that Professor Schofield will be able to contribute his expertise in this way,” he says. “He is the national leader in this field and an ideal appointment.”

Professor Schofield has spent the past two decades working with schools and children to improve health and wellbeing outcomes, and is widely published in the fields of physical activity, nutrition, disease prevention and health promotion. He will remain Professor of Public Health at AUT and Director of AUT’s Human Potential Centre in a part-time capacity, allowing him to continue his work optimising health and wellbeing through research, teaching and community collaboration.

“I’ve dedicated the past two decades to helping people be the best they can be, and I’m really excited about being able to bring the science of physical activity and nutrition closer to policy and what’s happening in our schools,” says the father of three. “Getting our already good education system to be more awesome is something I’m really passionate about.”