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Latest News Baking A Difference! Wellspring Takes Catering In-house

Baking A Difference! Wellspring Takes Catering In-house

After months of careful planning and a successful trial, Wellspring has taken the strategic decision to move its school catering services in-house.

The move reflects the Trust’s commitment to both staff and students. For students, the new service promises greater quality and choice, whereas staff will benefit from greater support and increased training and career development opportunities.

After completing a successful pilot at The Forest School in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, Wellspring has begun the process of moving its other schools’ catering services over. So far, 21 out of Wellspring’s 31-strong school community now enjoy in-house arrangements. The move enables Wellspring to have greater control over menu planning, ingredient sourcing and meal preparation. 

Clare Stevens, Director of Operations at Wellspring, said: “This is a significant shift in operations for our large, growing, multi-academy trust. Our catering offer varied widely in both quality and choice across our community of schools and we were keen to ensure that all our pupils could enjoy the same high quality, nutritious meals. It has taken significant investment, both in terms of equipment and staffing, but we all agree the benefits far outweigh the costs. 

“Many Wellspring schools operate in areas of high socio-economic deprivation and school dinners are incredibly important for their health and wellbeing. Having greater control over what we offer means we can be sure they are receiving the very best.

“It’s proving transformational for our catering teams too. The creativity and innovation that they are demonstrating is a joy to see – one team delivered a fantastic Egyptian-themed menu to support the school’s work on ancient Egypt. It was also wonderful to be able to welcome our catering staff into our Trust’s annual Festival of Learning training day for the very first time this month. Catering teams make such an important contribution to school life and it’s great that they are now Wellspring employees alongside their other school colleagues.”

The catering team at Springwell Leeds East celebrate being named ‘team of the week’

Josh Greaves, Deputy Chief Executive at Wellspring, added: “This initiative was born of our shared determination that every Wellspring child, wherever they are educated, should have access to a delicious and nutritious meal, every day.  This has been an enormous ask of the team yet they’ve risen to the challenge brilliantly. We envisaged a school meal offer that was of the highest quality across the Trust, offering variety, choice and supporting health and vitality. The team has delivered that and more. 

“The move to in-house is also allowing us to explore how we can be greener in our choices, looking at food waste and local suppliers. Our environmental credentials are something we take very seriously at Wellspring and food production is a clear area where we can have a positive impact. I’m excited to see how we can develop the service over the coming months and years.’