From education to employment

Student chefs go back to School to inspire school pupils

Westminster Kingsway’s Hospitality and Culinary Arts faculty have launched their new ‘Chefs Back to School’ programme, in partnership with Food Teachers Centre.

The scheme was launched on Monday 26 November, to members of the Food Teachers Centre, a UK based group for secondary school food technology teachers.

Members were invited to the Victoria Open Day to learn about the new programme.

The programme aims to have 100 student chefs visit their old secondary schools each year, to engage with the pupils, lead demonstrations and inspire prospective students by telling their story. Schools will sign up to the project and chefs will be paired with either the secondary school they attended or one in the local area to make the experience more personal.

Angie Pettengell, a member of the Food Teachers Centre and once a student at Westminster Kingsway herself, said “It’s really good to hear the personal stories and learn about the brilliant programme. We have students studying here who are doing great despite not enjoying secondary school at all.” Angie’s son Ben has since followed in his mother’s footsteps after taking part in the Young Chefs Academy, and is now a second year student at Westminster Kingsway.

We also took the opportunity to tell the Food Technology teachers about our successful Young Chefs’  Academy, Saturday School and how their students could benefit from taking part in the course. The Young Chefs’ Academy has been the starting point for many successful students and graduates. Many of the students in our Young Chefs’ Academy progress on to apply for our Professional Chef Diploma, Chef Apprenticeships or Patisserie Diplomas. Find out more here.

Louise Davies, the founder of the Food Teachers Centre, added “Food Teachers Centre teachers are looking forward to welcoming back student chefs to their old secondary schools in the Spring Term.  The chefs will be able to give a great demonstration to students doing Food GCSE exams at school and inspire them to think about their career routes. BHA 2017 report suggests that we will be short of more than a million workers by 2029, so it is important for young people to hear about the range of career opportunities open to them right now.  We will be reaching 5,000 pupils this year through the programme.”

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