Peterborough schools serving award-winning lunches


Thomas Deacon Education Trust receives national recognition for plant-powered menus    


Five schools in Peterborough have won national awards for their healthy and sustainable menus. The schools are the first in the country to secure Silver in The ProVeg School Plates Awards - a national accreditation scheme recognising nutritious and eco-friendly menus. 


The award-winning schools - Welbourne Primary Academy, Upwood Primary Academy, Warboys Primary Academy, Gladstone Academy and Thomas Deacon Academy - are all part of the Thomas Deacon Education Trust (TDET), which caters to over 5,000 students every day. The Trust launched its new menus this week, featuring a number of new plant-based meals that have proven extremely popular with pupils and staff alike.


Working with ProVeg UK, a non-profit organisation, the schools have replaced several carbon-heavy meat-based dishes with sustainable plant-based and vegetarian alternatives - while also increasing the nutrition profile of the meals. The schools serve a wide range of delicious, low-carbon dishes ranging from BBQ Pulled Quorn Wrap to Mexican-style Chilli Non Carne, helping children to make the connection between their food and its impact on the planet. 


Jimmy Pierson, Director of ProVeg UK, said: "We're delighted to recognise the wonderful work schools in Peterborough are doing to create healthier and more sustainable menus. By increasing the quantity and quality of plant-based school food, TDET is not only improving childrens' health, but they are protecting their future. In the midst of a global climate crisis, reducing food emissions has never been more pressing. It's heartwarming to see how much the children are enjoying the food and supporting more climate-friendly menus."


Michael Dove, Head of Catering at TDET, said: "Providing children with good food is at the heart of what we do, and if we can help to save the planet while doing so, that's a win-win. Our cooks have been working hard to develop great menus that the kids will love - we even run tasting-sessions with them before launching any new dishes to make sure we're serving food they enjoy. It's wonderful to receive national recognition in exchange for our hard work."


The ProVeg School Plates Awards launched earlier this year to set the standards for low-carbon menus across UK schools. The Awards are designed to recognise the positive steps taken by caterers to create healthier, climate-friendly menus.


ProVeg UK is currently working with 40 major catering partners across the UK through its School Plates programme. Since the programme launched in 2018, the non-profit has helped turn over 9.2 million school dinners meat-free or plant-based while developing tasty, nutritious, and sustainable menus. 


All UK schools can participate in The ProVeg School Plates Awards for free. To learn more, visit ProVeg UK's website, or if you are a school caterer and would like to submit your menu for review, send it to


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