South Tyneside catering staff rewarded for getting more children to have school meals

back row from left, Jo Caffrey, Joanne Murray, Cllr Joan Atkinson, Nicola Bowman and Linda Short. From bottom left: Dawn Nichol, Rhonda Tervit, Lesley Newbrook.
back row from left, Jo Caffrey, Joanne Murray, Cllr Joan Atkinson, Nicola Bowman and Linda Short. From bottom left: Dawn Nichol, Rhonda Tervit, Lesley Newbrook.

Creative catering staff from South Tyneside schools have been rewarded for their efforts to encourage more young people to take up the offer of school dinners.

The awards from South Tyneside Council were presented by lead member for Children, Young People and Families, Councillor Joan Atkinson.

Among those to win an award was Jo Caffrey, recently cook at Bede Burn Primary School, who prepared special theme days which saw children enjoy a Viking lunch as well as a Burns lunch with haggis and music provided by a live piper.

Joanne Murray from Jarrow School won an award for her innovative Food Theatre live omelette bar while Nicola Bowman, who works at Dunn Street School, was commended for her made-to-order cakes.

Mortimer Community College was named Team of the Year for responding effectively to the changing needs of the school and pupils by introducing a unique noodle bar.

Councillor Atkinson said: “It is important to recognise the incredibly valuable contribution our catering staff make to the smooth running of lunchtimes in our schools.

“With 91 per cent of infants, 70 per cent of all primary school children and more than half of secondary school students taking a school lunch, it is clear that our school meals service is hugely popular.

“This, in many ways is due to the imagination and dedication of our committed staff who regularly go the extra mile to make lunchtimes special in South Tyneside schools.”

The price of school dinners and milk in South Tyneside has been frozen for the third year in a row.