College commits to free school meals throughout Christmas
Published: 2nd December 2020
Families across Cornwall and Devon have welcomed The Cornwall College Group’s decision to provide free school meals for its learners who are eligible throughout the Christmas break.
The free school meal scheme has been in the spotlight this year thanks to Premier League footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign.
Principal and Chief Executive of the Group, John Evans, said it was a moral duty to continue to support learners who need it during these unprecedented times.
“We were certainly inspired by Premier League footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign to get the Government to provide free school meals during the summer, and we led the way nationally in announcing our decision to ensure the same applied for 16 to 18 year old learners,” he explained.
“Serving the communities we do, we know how essential free school meals are, so we have decided to run the scheme ourselves. With the impact coronavirus has had, the pressure on many households has never been greater. We have supported key workers and NHS staff with our 3D designed PPE, our staff have volunteered, but feeding our most vulnerable learners throughout the winter is a vital way we can serve the communities in which we operate.”
Food poverty is a day-to-day reality for more and more people in the UK, with one in four parents skipping meals in order to make ends meet, and the problems are often worse during the school holidays.
“Our mission is to provide exceptional education and training for every learner to improve their career prospects,” John said.
“In order to do this, our learners need to have the energy to learn and not have the anxiety of where their next meal is coming from hanging over them.
“I hope the families of our learners will find some relief in the fact their children who attend our colleges at Duchy Colleges in Rosewarne and Stoke Climsland, Falmouth Marine School, Bicton College and our Cornwall College campuses in Camborne, St Austell and Newquay will have guaranteed meals over Christmas.”
Colleges have worked tirelessly to continue educating learners in a Covid-secure working environment.
“I am immensely proud of the hard work of my colleagues who have made this possible in challenging circumstances,” John asserted.
“I would recommend anyone interested to attend one of our virtual open events to find out more, information on these can be found on our social media channels.”
TCCG is investing heavily in its campuses, student experiences and staff training.
“We are ensuring every tutor has a high-spec laptop and the technological equipment they need to deliver modern and interactive lessons and training that everyone will benefit from, whether that’s school leavers, apprentices or degree level students,” John continued.
“Our new and highly experienced leadership team has worked tirelessly with staff over the last year to transform the Group and we have made significant savings while repurposing campuses to deliver modern, forward-thinking courses that will lead to rewarding careers.
“What makes this turnaround in our financial performance even more impressive is we have made significant changes while improving our outcomes for learners. I knew we would transform this Group when I arrived last year, but I am so proud of how quickly our staff have achieved this, through dedication, hard work and a passion for giving learners a quality experience.”
The launch of Future Farm at Duchy College Stoke Climsland and new social spaces for learners have been at the heart of recent investment.
Next on the list is a planned new college in St Austell that John believes will have a significant impact.
“Without doubt a modern, vibrant new build in St Austell will be transformative for the people of St Austell and its surrounding area for generations to come,” he said.