The Government's latest attempt to transform the standard of school food officially launched today at a ceremony in London.
School Feast (Food Excellence and Skills Training) centres and partnerships are part of a £2m government-backed initiative, announced last year.
They are intended to provide everything from hands-on cooking lessons to formal training to NVQ level 2 for those involved in school meal provision.
Sixteen centres form the first tranche with further government funding expected to extend the network.
Speaking at the official launch at School Feast member Thames Valley University (TVU) in Ealing, Prue Leith, head of the School Food Trust, said: "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."
Harrison Catering Services, which provides school catering in the borough, has worked with TVU since 2005 to train its staff up to an NVQ Level 2 (professional cookery) and has three students taking part in a demonstration at the launch.
Bill Graney, manager client services for Harrison, said: "These courses are ideal for our school cooks and their assistants as they encompass a wide range of skills and empower our staff to become better in their day to day roles."
"This event will help demonstrate what can be done to improve the provision of school food across the country."
By Chris Druce
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