KitchenPod supplied to Education Links
Education Links is an Alternative Provision Free School which aims to help those young people who are not thriving in mainstream education to build their skills and confidence, and achieve life-long success.
Since the beginning the school has wanted to produce its own hot meals for students – instead of the authority-provided packed lunch – both to improve the experience of the students at the school, but also to improve behaviour, as studies link hunger with impaired performance in class.
There were many obstacles to achieving this aim, however. An experiment with bought in meals was unsuccessful due to high costs and high wastage for a school with small numbers. The school’s central site, in Stratford, lacked internal space to house a kitchen, and using outside space for a newly built kitchen would be too expensive and would cause disruption to school life for an extended period.
School Business manager Tracey De Rizzio realised that a modular kitchen could be the solution Education Links needed. Talking to a number of providers, Tracey realised she and her team would need more help specifying the kitchen and providing support during the planning application for the new kitchen. PKL offered this guidance and assistance, which was a major element in the school’s decision to choose them for the project.
The install was set for the Easter holidays in 2018, ensuring the students didn’t witness any disruption. The school took charge of putting in the correct foundations, power connections and water and waste, with guidance from PKL’s project manager.
The kitchen was craned into place in a single day and was fully installed within a week.
Launching in September 2018 with a new chef and nutritious menu, the results were instantaneous: behaviour improved, the students were delighted to take advantage of the delicious food on offer, and students and staff ate together, developing social skills and understanding.
Sandy Davies, Principal, said: “We’ve been delighted with the PKL modular kitchen. The service has been exceptional from start to finish and the kitchen is already making a massive difference to the lives of our students, improving their behaviour and building relationships with others through sharing a meal.”