Fruitful Education

Children in South Gloucestershire schools are not only eating healthily; they are also helping to reinstate local orchards at the same time.
Pupils from Manor School, South Gloucestershire, tuck in to the new fruit cones now available in their tuck shop. Photo: © South Gloucestershire Council

Catering and Contracts Manager, Kay Knight buys local apples that are rejected by the supermarkets because they are imperfect but which are ideally suited for the fruit cones sold in the tuck shops. This way of serving fruit has proved very popular in schools and head teachers have commented on the positive effects on behaviour and concentration levels.
Breakfast services have also been introduced into a growing number of secondary and primary schools, encouraging both parents and pupils to have a healthy start to the day. “This is lovely,” said one parent. “I can come to school at 8.15, sit with my children and have breakfast. I can then go to work. I feel like I’m civilised!”

Kay Knight is keen to make all school catering as green and healthy as possible. “We are recycling our cooking oil into machinery and re-cycling our packaging. We have a new policy with our contractors for using green fuels for the future and we are recycling our tins. We are looking at educating children. So there is a lot going on in our service to bring global sustainability together.” She sources food locally wherever possible, including organic carrots from Duchy Home Farm, part of the Prince of Wales’ estate. “People see me traipsing round their farms in wellies,” she said. “I get a great welcome. Our new approach hasn’t bankrupted the Council. In fact, we’re in surplus again. “
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