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Welcome to Sam!

A big welcome to Sam Ward who has joined our Central Services Team as Catering Lead. Sam has a background of working with the Trust and has been a big part of establishing and improving our catering services and embedding cooking and growing into school life.

She supports school leaders and kitchen staff, providing operational leadership and strategic vision for our in house school meals service across the Trust.

Sam recognises the importance of supplier relationships and works closely with local suppliers to find the best local and seasonal produce for our schools. Her key responsibility is ensuring that each school delivers freshly prepared, healthy, tasty food to our pupils in a calm and friendly dining environment.

Sam brings practical knowledge and skills in all aspects of catering management. She holds a BSc (hons) in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management and has freelanced for focus on food for a couple of years giving practical advice and support on implementing food education in the primary curriculum.

Following an early career in hotel and events catering Sam entered the school food industry in 2006, initially taking on the challenge of taking Collaton St Mary Primary Schools meals service in house.

Sam commented, “I am passionate about school food, feeding our pupils well and food education. I love the diversity of my role, both the challenges and achievements it brings; whether it be working with our amazing kitchen teams ensuring high the quality delivery of our meals service, food management procedures and systems, working with suppliers and procurement, supporting food lessons or working on community projects. I am truly connected to ACE’s values and Character Education and am proud to be part of the team”

Sam is a proud member of the national Food for Life Cooks Network and some of her achievements include:

  • Food for Life Gold Award- First Gold School in the South West

  • Taste of the West Award – best local school food – championing local food – several years running

  • Devon Life – School cook of the year Educatering of Excellence – In-house Primary caterer of the year

  • HITS – Health in Torbay schools award

  • BBC Food and Farming finalist

She was also elected to represent the school food industry cooking in the houses of parliament during national school meals.

We are looking forward to continuing to work with Sam on many exciting and innovative projects.


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