The EPCIS Education Excellence Awards 2020

Making a Difference in Scotland’s Schools

It has been announced today that a pioneering new awards programme will launch for the Scottish education sector in 2020.

An independent joint venture between London-based EP Business in Hospitality, and Catering Scotland (CIS), the EPCIS Education Excellence Awards aim to recognise and reward innovation in foodservice, sustainability, healthy living and catering excellence in Scotland’s schools and further education establishments.

EP Managing Director, Chris Sheppardson, said: ‘Foodservice has never been more important in supporting health and nutrition, and educational institutions are now starting to recognise the link between healthier lifestyles and increased productivity. This, in turn, is fuelling appetites for real change in a sector that arguably needs it more than any other.

‘And as demand grows for foodservice to play an ever-bigger role in the life of pupils, staff, students and employees, schools across the country are witnessing the benefits that high-quality catering and nutrition can bring.’

Highlighting a number of recent reports that appear to underline the changing narrative in foodservice, Sheppardson added: ‘The link between substandard nutrition and poor mental health has become a central point upon which more and more businesses – and entire sectors – are now focusing. These new awards will provide the Scottish education sector with much-needed recognition for its efforts to promote health, wellbeing and increased productivity as part of a high-quality foodservice offering.’

Alex Buchanan, co-founder of the CIS Excellence Awards for the Scottish hospitality industry, added: ‘Schools and further education establishments are making concerted efforts to accommodate increased demand from parents, staff, students and teachers for higher quality foodservice provision.

‘Many of these institutions are re-examining the way they approach foodservice and healthy living education. Within the public sector, several schools and colleges are trying hard to offer people the choice of a healthier lifestyle, either through the provision of healthier options or through education and initiatives.

‘Meanwhile, independent schools and colleges across the country are reinventing their foodservice provision to encompass healthier eating, sustainability, mental health awareness and cookery education.

‘When a particular institution ends up being recognised and rewarded for the quality of its catering provision, nutrition education and wellbeing awareness, this achievement will only add to its overall desirability and popularity with parents and families.

‘Indeed, factors such as geographical location, reputation, heritage, league table results and facilities are all considerations when choosing a particular school but only very rarely is the foodservice offering taken into account.

‘In celebrating the highest levels of achievement in this crucial area, the EPCIS Education Excellence Awards aim to equip schools and colleges with a unique marketing advantage through which they can demonstrate their commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of students and staff.’

Launching in 2020, the EPCIS Education Excellence Awards will celebrate Scotland’s schools, colleges, universities, caterers and suppliers who are forging new links with pupils, staff and students and reaching new benchmarks in excellence across Scotland.

Judged by an independent panel of experts from the foodservice, education and business sectors, the EPCIS Education Awards include the following categories:

• The Community Benefits Award • The Healthier Food Award

• The Hospitality Education Award

• The Healthyliving Innovation Award

• The Independent Education Chef of the Year Award

• The Bursar of the Year Award

• The Student Chef of the Year Award

• The Contract Caterer Award

• The In-House Caterer Award

• The Sustainability Award

• The Marketing Award

• The Mental Health and Wellbeing Award

Last month, we hosted a forum with Lesley Franklin, Principal of George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh, who spoke of their approach to supporting nutrition, positive mental health and culinary education among students. And as well as unveiling a brand-new, state-of-the-art refectory which offers cookery classes to help teach life skills to pupils of all ages, Heriot’s also encourages pupils to look out for each other’s mental health needs.

’ https://scottishbusinessnews.net/2019/11/26/scottish-hospitality-industry-given-leadership-and-culture-advice-from-students-in-response-to-mental-health-fears

George Heriot’s is by no means a unique case. Indeed, many other schools are following suit through the development of improved solutions in sustainability, environment, the use of fresh produce and working with local communities.

EP Managing Director, Chris Sheppardson, said: ‘Foodservice has never been more important in supporting health and nutrition, and educational institutions are now starting to recognise the link between healthier lifestyles and increased productivity. This, in turn, is fuelling appetites for real change in a sector that arguably needs it more than any other.