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New qualification for school cooks

It is essential that all school catering staff have the training they need to be able to provide healthy meals for school children. 

That is why the Department for Education & Skills has worked with People 1st (the Sector Skills Council for the hospitality industry) and the Food Standards Agency to develop a Level 1 qualification in Providing a Healthier School Meals Service.  This is now available.

 It has been specifically designed for staff involved in the preparation and service of school meals and it will help school caterers to improve pupils nutritional intake from all food provided by the school meals service.  The qualification will enable school cooks to:

- understand how to provide a range of healthier foods and meals in the school dining room and know why this is important; and

- develop marketing ideas and material to promote healthier food choices to school children.

City and Guilds and ASET have both received accreditation from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) to deliver the qualification.  You can contact their local training centres for more information.

The Department is also working with the Training and Development Agency, People 1st and the Food Standards Agency to identify and develop qualifications that address the catering skills that school caterers need.  These will reflect the different levels of skills and responsibilities in the school meals service.  The new units will be in place by Autumn 2006.

Schools and local authorities can use some of the £220 million, which is being made available to them over the next three years, to pay for training for school catering staff. 


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