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Edinburgh Academy Junior School and independents by Sodexo serve up award-winning food

Edinburgh Academy Junior School
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Edinburgh Academy Junior School and independents by Sodexo (@SodexoGroup), who manage the catering at the school, are celebrating recognition of the ethically and environmentally sourced food it serves its pupils.
The school has become the only independent school in Scotland to achieve the Silver standard from the Soil Association’s Food for Life Served Here (Scotland) programme.
The prestigious Silver accreditation recognises the schools continued commitment to making good food the easy choice and championing environmentally sustainable, ethical food options sourced by local suppliers.
Caron Longden, development lead for Food for Life, praised the school’s ethos around serving high quality food and said:
“The relationship built between the headteacher and the caterer are particularly strong, and they work closely together to provide the best experience they can for pupils.
“Some vegetables are grown on site, all waste is composted, and work has been done to ensure the ingredients used in the service meet good animal welfare standards, including organic milk from a local dairy.”
Gavin Calder, headteacher at Edinburgh Academy Junior School, added:
“In these enlightened times, it is really important that we know the quality and provenance of the food that our children are consuming.
“It is a testament to the time and efforts of catering manager Shona McGregor-Brown and her amazing team from independents by Sodexo that we are at the vanguard in terms of food quality in Scotland’s schools.”
Shona McGregor, catering manager at Edinburgh Academy Junior School heads a team of eight serving 550 meals a day to pupils from nursery age through to 11-year-olds. Healthy food options are available daily, with a salad bar and fresh vegetables served every meal. There is also a selection of vegetarian meals, including, Quorn meatballs served with fresh tomato and herb sauce and organic pasta.
Edinburgh Academy Junior School has introduced several initiatives, including a small group of pupils acting as a representative ‘voice’ for their peers, discussing likes and dislikes with head chef Karen Purves and Shona. They have also fed back thoughts on menu design.
At least five per cent of the ingredient budget is spent on organic produce, and Sodexo’s purchasing team has built relationships with several Scottish growers, farmers and producers, for example, sourcing dairy products from Graham’s at Broxburn and Red Tractor approved meat from Campbells Prime Meat.
Amanda Vettese, account manager (Scotland), independents by Sodexo, commented:
“The Academy is committed and aligned with Sodexo to ensure we promote an environment where pupils can thrive, and we support this through ensuring that pupils are provided healthy choices in the dining hall.
“The ambition to reach the Silver level, having already attained Bronze a few years ago, was held up because of the Covid pandemic. Still, the award is a testament to the commitment and dedication of Sodexo and Edinburgh Academy working in partnership.”
Shona McGregor, catering manager at Edinburgh Academy Junior School, added:
“This is a great award to achieve. It takes a lot of hard work to pull together the evidence for the Food for Life assessment. I have worked at the Academy for several years, and I am committed to ensuring every pupil has a positive experience in the dining room and that we provide healthy, fresh and seasonal options to support pupil wellbeing and the environment.”
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