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School FEAST training network is launched today to give school caterers training and qualificatio

School cooks will have the chance to brush up their culinary skills and earn new qualifications when the School FEAST training network is launched today.

The School FEAST network has been established by the School Food Trust and comprises of existing providers and new training centres which will provide training to on-site school caterers

Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families has confirmed continued funding for The School Food Trust, which was set up in 2005 following Jamie Oliver’s campaign to make school dinners healthy. He said: “School cooks are the heartbeat of our school food revolution ““ transforming lunches and children’s health. They deserve the best training ““ they do highly skilled jobs giving millions of children nutritious dinners every single school day. These centres and our continued funding means they can brush up their skills or learn new ones, so they can prepare meals for their whole schools from healthy, fresh ingredients.”

The School FEAST network includes FE colleges, private and employer led organisations. It will provide a comprehensive package of training and qualifications, from hands-on cooking lessons to formal qualifications at NVQ level 2 and beyond. As a member of the School FEAST network each centre and partnership is required to provide a “Core Offer” of qualifications consisting of:-VRQ Level 1 Award in Providing a Healthier School Meals Service; Support Work in Schools Level 2; Support Work in Schools Level 3; NVQ Level 2 Professional Cookery ;NVQ Level 2 Food Processing and Cooking.

It is likely that centres and partnerships will provide additional training and qualifications that have been designed to meet the specific needs of their learners.

Prue Leith, Chair of The School Food Trust said: “I am delighted to be officially launching the School FEAST network today. School cooks play such a vital role in the health and wellbeing of our children. The School Feast network will help provide them with the training and skills they need to progress. “

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