As the School Food Sector starts to ‘get back on track’, this year’s Main Event will take a look at the future of our service with in-depth sessions on sustainability and technology.

In addition to this this in 2022 we are also pleased to announce the return of LACA Live with cookery demonstrations focusing on local and sustainable produce taking place in the Palace Suite on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th July.  Those showcasing their culinary skills at LACA Live this year include former England rugby player and Celebrity Masterchef winner, Phil Vickery representing Creed Foodservice, school chefs working with Love British Food, HCL Ltd sharing their expertise in fruit carving and ProVeg showcasing some of their SchoolPlates recipes. 
View LACA Live Programme

Our ever popular and informative Workshop Sessions will also return this year with sessions tailored for both kitchen managers and, service directors/managers will offer practical advice and share best practice case studies. Angela Tregear of the University of Edinburgh Business School is returning to update us about the Carbon Calculator measuring the carbon footprint of the sector with other workshops focusing on energy efficient kit, team wellbeing and sustainable sourcing. 
View the Workshop Programme


Main Event Delegate Programme

The programme below outlines the closed sessions which are only accessible for delegates:

Wednesday 6 July 2022

9.30 School Food Show exhibition opens
12.00-14.00 Lunch & exhibition viewing
14.15 LACA Forum opens
Forum chair, Michael Hales
LACA's year in focus

Opening Address and Introduction to this year’s Main Event
Jacquie Blake, LACA National Chair

School Food – The Ninth Lesson
Exemplar schools share their holistic approach to school food. 
We will be joined by:

  • Paul Evans, Operations Director of School Health UK and Co-Chairman of The British Obesity Society to discuss the role a Better Lunchtime can have in improving the school day; how to get headteachers to 'care' about school  lunchtimes and the importance of school meals in contributing to tackling childhood obesity and poverty in England.
  • Amanda Dhillon, Sandfield School & Lisa Didier, Food for Life - How Sandfield Close Primary school make lunchtimes special. Highlighting the benefits of a good relationship between the Senior Leadership Team and teaching staff with midday supervisors and the school kitchen staff. How the dining hall is a place of learning for social skills and a place of celebration with good food.
  • Dr Jason O'Rourke, TastEd - Using TastEd to develop a whole school approach to school food education and healthy school lunches
    TastEd offer teachers support, training and resources to deliver a range of simple taste education lessons tailored to the English National Curriculum. In a typical TastEd lesson – which requires no kitchen or fancy equipment to teach – a teacher brings fresh vegetables or fruits into the classroom. The children talk and write about what they see, smell, touch, hear and taste and whether they enjoy it or not.

The Connected Kitchen
The role of technology and automation for the school kitchen today and into the future.
Speakers include: Keith Warren, FEA, he will be joined by Amelia Jonas, Director of Product, Karakuri who will be talking about Semblr, the world’s leading food service robot combining robotics, automation and machine learning and and the role that robotics and automation can play in enhancing the lunchtime experience and removing repetitive tasks to allow teams more time to focus on preparation of fresh food and to engage more with students.

16.15 Keynote: Find your inner creativity and build a great organisation

Jason Bevan, Former Creative Head at Warner Bros
Jason spent his career pushing the boundaries of creativity at Warner Bros and Disney, working on films ranging from Harry Potter to the DC universe. He reveals the secrets of how the world’s most creative film studios continue to develop brave and innovative ideas and shares applicable tools and tricks to create a creative environment in any organisation. In speeches he shares the secrets of Hollywood’s creative power and how any industry can harness it. Using examples from much-loved films he looks at how to remove barriers to traditional ways of thinking. Jason demonstrates that even the least creative-seeming job contains all the necessary elements to make something great. He sees creativity not as a nice-to-have, nor as a privilege only few get to exercise, but as a necessity that calls to us all more than ever in a post-pandemic world.

17.00 Forum day one closes
19.30 LACA informal icebreaker evening

Thursday 7 July 2022


LACA Forum delegate registration opens - hotel and Monarch foyers

LACA School Food Show - exhibition opens, Palace and Monarch Suites

9.30 Forum day two opens
Foruum chair, Michael Hales
Welcome and LACA Year in Focus
9.45 - 10.15 Keynote:
Tom Heap, 39 ways to save the planet

'39 Ways to Save the Planet, emerged from a determination to celebrate the successes in our fight against climate change. Knowing where we are winning is fascinating in itself and vital to enlarging those victories and stemming anxiety.
10.15 - 11.30

The Sustainable School Kitchen      
Tom Heap hosts a panel of subject matter experts to discuss the school food sectors role in the UK’s journey towards Net Zero  - what can realistically be achieved and by when?
Panelists:  Jacquie Blake, LACA National Chair;  Dale Vince, Chair Forest Green Rovers; Eleanor Morris, WRAP and Jack Ward, CEO, British Growers Association.

11.30 - 12.00

Marketing and Branding your School Food Service
How can providers best communicate their food offer via marketing and branding as a way to increase meal uptake, share healthy eating and wellbeing messages engaging not only pupils but parents and teachers?

Marketing & Innovation Consultant for Foodservice, Claire Roper joins us to share her a wealth of experience in foodservice research and insight from her time spent working with Quorn and 2 Sisters Food Group.

12.00 - 14.00 Lunch and exhibition viewing
14.30 Announcement of the Winners of 2022 Finishing Touches and Best in Class and Best in Show
Open to visitors and Forum delegates, Kings Suite
14.45 Forum resumes

Four Nations Session 2022

With nearly 90% of children across the UK choosing to eat a school meal at least once a week*, our speakers representing each of the four nations, will discuss and debate the current priorities and challenges for the school meals service. This will be a wide-ranging discussion covering areas including: each nation’s food standards and what changes may be required as a result of The National Food Strategy, Good Food Nation Bill in Scotland and the roll out of free school meals to all primary children in Wales.

Speakers will also focus on investment in and funding of the service, recruitment and supply chain issues in a post-Brexit and post-pandemic world and what impact the ongoing conflict in Ukraine might have on fast-rising food and energy costs.

Speakers:  Brad Pearce (England), Judith Gregory (Wales) and Jayne Jones (Scotland), Colm Bradley (Northern Ireland)
*ParentPay and LACA School Meals Report


Keynote: Natasha’s Law 9 months on    
Tanya Ednan-Laperouse OBE and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse OBE, Natasha’s Allergy Research Foundation (NARF)

Following on from their deeply moving and impactful speech at the Main Event 2021, Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse OBE return to update us on the impact of Natasha's Law to date and to discuss the next steps in creating a world that is safe for all allergy sufferers, everywhere.

16.30 Forum day two closes
19.00 Drinks Reception
19.30 LACA Awards for Excellence Dinner, Kings Suite - Find out more

Friday 8 July 2022

8.00 Networking Breakfast, Kings Suite
9.30 Forum resumes
9.40 SCOTY Interview
David Foad, editor of School Caterer magazine, talks to the newly crowned winner of SCOTY 2022

Research Update:– ParentPay and LACA School Meals Report
Brad Pearce, LACA Vice Chair and Merica Wilsher, Head of Sales at Cypad (part of ParentPay Group) will discuss the findings from the latest ParentPay, Cypad and LACA research capturing the views of parents and carers on the key issues for the school meals service including allergen management, The National Food Strategy, sustainable sourcing, meal uptake, cashless payments and the role of digital technology.


Levelling up school food
James Toop, Chief Executive of the charity,  Bite Back 2030 joins us to talk about their mission to help ensure that every young person has access to healthy and nutritious food, no matter where they live.

He will be joined by Cath Elliston, Head of Campaigns, Jamie Oliver Group

11.15 - 11.35

School Food Review Working Group Coalition
Dr Nick Capstick OBE, CEO, White Horse Federation and Sean Turner, Policy Officer at School Food Matters
Too many children are missing out on good quality, nutritious school food. Now is the time for reform, to realise the full potential of the school food system.

The School Food Review Working Group is a coalition that includes representatives of catering staff, school leaders, local authorities, experts, campaigners, and, of course, school children. The group has identified five ‘pillars’ of the school food system: areas which need reform and solutions to do so.

This session will include an overview of the pillars and work so far, as well as next steps for the group.

11.35 - 11.55 LACA Political and Policy Update
Victoria Morgan, Managing Director London, FGS Global

11.55 - 12.30

Chair's handover and closing remarks

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