Thanks for doing a brilliant job

30th January 2004 at 00:00
Brian Wallace is the school chef and catering manager at Gateways school, Harewood, near Leeds

Food fits a treat into the social life of this school and the man in charge makes nutrition and meal times a pleasure. Nothing is a problem and he seems to think of everything - from hot orange juice for the netball team who just got drenched in a downpour, to a banquet for 350 at the annual summer ball.

Gateways is an independent school for girls aged four to 18 and boys aged four to seven. Breakfast is served from 7.45am; fresh fruit is available free at every break, plus tea and sandwiches for children and staff who stay as late as 6.30pm.

With 562 pupils on roll there's a rule that all eat lunch together, every day. "The social skills involved in eating collectively are important for children's development," says school business manager Alison Cooper. Staff join in too - "you bet," says Alison.

Sue Finan is the teacher who nominated Brian (pictured below, holding large pan, with trainee Chris Dalby) for our flowers, champagne and chocolates.

"He is always happy and has a good relationship with everyone. He is exceptional."

Headteacher Denise Davidson has introduced several formal celebrations where Brian's culinary skills shine. Every September girls going to university come to a goodbye dinner with parents and teachers. Two weeks later another event celebrates the GCSE results of former Year 11s.

Excellent food and drink mark every event on the school calendar.

Is there an unsung hero in your school? Tell Sarah Bayliss, TES Friday editor, about him or her at the address below. Flowers kindly supplied by Marks amp; Spencer

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