Lunch with Good Companions – Safely inviting community members into school

Resource: Case study Age: Primary Subject links: CRB checks

Gilmorton Chandler C of E (Aided) Primary School is an average size school in a rural setting, located in the south of Leicestershire. Situated in the village of Gilmorton, the school serves seven other parishes as well as its own. They tell us how they got round the CRB check when inviting the Good Companions, a group of elderly members of the local community, to the school for lunch.

How have you involved the local community?

As a way of sharing the ‘Food for Life Partnership’ message with our community, we invited the local ‘Good Companions Group’ in to have lunch with us. The ‘Good Companions Group’ is comprised of older members of the village, with a grandparent or two thrown in for good measure.

The group enjoyed their meal, the opportunity to see the school and especially the chance to talk to the children in a different context. They could see what the Food for Life Partnership is all about, and how it has already made a difference to how the school functions. Likewise, the children enjoyed the chance to talk to older members of the community, perhaps their grandparents.

What facilities do you have?

We have our own school kitchen on site from which comes a range of good food. Lunch is served in our hall and in an adjacent outside covered area (when the weather’s nice!). Last year we managed to serve food made up of ingredients from our own school grounds. This year we hope to increase the amount of school sourced food.

Were your guests CRB checked?

Although our visitors were not CRB checked, we were still able to safely involve community members by making sure we did the following:

  • Made sure that they arrived when the playground was empty of children
  • Once they had signed in, escorted them to the dining hall
  • Made sure they were supervised by one or more adults at all times
  • At the end of lunch, once they had signed out, they were escorted across the playground and off the premises.
  • No individual was left alone with a child or unsupervised at any point of their visit.

What has been the feedback from this event?

We’ve had nothing but good feedback from the experience and plan to repeat it with community members from all of the parishes we serve.

The Food for Life Partnership is a network of schools and communities across England committed to transforming food culture. Together we are revolutionising school meals, reconnecting children and young people with where their food comes from, and inspiring families to grow and cook food.

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