South Tyneside dinner ladies served with awards

Coun Joan Atkinson, back left, with Lesley Newbrook and Muriel Metcalfe, lead training officer, and (front from left) Demi Cole, Joanne Murray, Claire Ward.

Coun Joan Atkinson, back left, with Lesley Newbrook and Muriel Metcalfe, lead training officer, and (front from left) Demi Cole, Joanne Murray, Claire Ward.

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Catering staff from schools in South Tyneside have been ‘served’ certificates of success after securing professional qualifications.

Lesley Newbrook, Demi Cole, Joanne Murray, Claire Ward, Jackie Stevenson and Emma Urwin all secured City and Guilds NVQ Level 2 certificates in Catering and Hospitality.

Presenting the awards, Coun Joan Atkinson, lead member for children, young people and families, said: “Work-based learning is just one way that we can make sure our catering staff remain at the top of their game.

“The obvious beneficiaries of these qualifications are our young people who rely on the skills of our staff to prepare nutritious, appealing meals.”

South Tyneside enjoys a high take-up of school meals with 91 per cent of infants, 70 per cent of primary school and more than half of secondary school students taking a school lunch.

Coun Atkinson added: “The popularity of our school dinners is due, in many ways, to the skills of our catering staff, who consistently provide healthy and imaginative meals at schools across the borough.

“We know that a balanced, nutritious meal at lunch time helps boost the ability of youngsters to concentrate which can positively impact on attainment levels.”

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