TEACHING TALENT UNDER THREAT AS OLDER WORKERS EXIT THE CLASSROOM

  • Classrooms set to loose large swathes of senior talent and teaching experience as baby boomer generation nears retirement
  • Four-fifths of teachers feel under pressure to leave teaching at state pension age
  • Almost a third (32%) of teachers plan to retire early as a result
  • Mentoring the main motivation to keep senior teachers in the schools for longer, but flexible working, phased retirement and retaining schemes can all play a part

 

Classrooms are facing a mass exodus of senior teaching staff as the baby boomer generation nears retirement, coupled with societal pressure to leave the workforce at state pension age, according to new research from specialist recruiter Randstad Education.

 

A recent report by Ros Altmann, the Pensions Minister, outlines that by 2022 the number of people in the workforce aged 50 to state pension age will have risen by 3.7 million to 13.8 million and the number aged 16-49 will have reduced by 700,000.[1] As these older, and often more senior, workers reach retirement age and exit the workforce en masse, the exodus of this generation will usher in a new skills shortage.

 

Despite this threat, research from Randstad Education reveals there is a pervasive societal pressure for older employees to leave the workforce at state pension age – and teachers feel this tension more acutely than average. Nearly four-fifths (79%) of teachers report feeling this pressure, compared to 75% of typical workers. In addition, 36% of employees in the education sector say this pressure is ‘significant’, while only 15% of teachers say they don’t feel this pressure.

 

The implications of this perception could be severe – with nearly a third (32%) of teachers saying they plan to retire early as a result. Believing that “they won’t be wanted in the workforce when older” is the key motivation behind this accelerated retirement plans, listed by 85% of education workers who intend to retire early.  The remaining 15% expect to retire early because they are worried about age discrimination in schools.

 

Jenny Rollinson, managing director of Randstad Education, comments:  “We have a ticking talent timebomb in our hands, and the flight of the baby-boomer generation from the teaching workforce could leave a gaping skills shortage in our midst.  There’s already quite a war for talent as it is, and this will make it even harder to find the right people for the right jobs.  Schools need to hold onto the age and experience in their classrooms for as long as they can, as replacing senior teaching staff after they retire can be difficult.”

 

PERCEPTION GAP THROUGH THE AGES

 

Overall, it is older workers who feel most strongly that they are being pushed from the workforce. Four in ten employees (42%) who started working before 1975 said they would retire early because they feel “like they won’t be wanted in the workforce when older” – a much more significant proportion than any other age group. Only 27% of workers who joined the workforce between 1975 and 1984 reported the same feelings, 28% between 1985 and 1994, 26% between 1995 and 2004 and just 26% after 2005.

 

Joined workforce Percentage of respondents
1974 and earlier 41.6%
1975 – 1984 27.0%
1985 – 1994 27.9%
1995 – 2004 26.1%
2005 or later 26.1%

TABLE 1: PERCENTAGE OF RESPONDENTS PLANNING TO RETIRE EARLY DUE TO SOCIETAL PRESSURE – BY LENGTH OF TIME IN WORKFORCE

 

 

RETAINING OLDER TEACHERS AS MENTORS

 

Randstad’s research also looked at what helps persuade workers to stay in the workforce for longer. In order to improve the retention of older teachers in the education workforce, schools need to provide better support for older staff through increasing the availability of flexible working or job-shares, and implementing phased retirement programmes. Crucially, these initiatives need to be better publicised to help change the perception of older education workers.

 

Shaking up societal attitudes to retirement also has a role to play. Research from academic Christopher Barrington-Leigh shows that people who stay working past 55, and those who have chosen to delay retirement to stay longer in the workforce, report rising job satisfaction levels.[2]

 

Education workers differed from the UK norm in terms of what factors would persuade them to stay in teaching longer than planned. The largest proportion of teachers (45%) answered that a change of their role to become more of a mentor figure, with the opportunity to pass down their teaching wisdom, would help them stay in the job for longer. This compared to just 38% of workers across all industries, showing teachers value the chance to share their work experience with younger, and more junior colleagues more highly than in other sectors.

 

The second biggest factor that could persuade teachers to delay their retirement, for 43% of those polled, would be the provision of flexible working arrangements, enabling them to fit their career around other responsibilities in later life, such as caring for a loved one.

 

The availability of phased retirement to help smooth the transition from working to full retirement was also a popular option, with 38% of teachers saying this would help keep them in schools for longer. With regular changes to the curriculum and prescribed thinking on teaching strategies, as well as the more prominent role of IT in classrooms, retraining schemes were cited by 27% of teachers, while a quarter (25%) answered that a change in attitude within the education sector to become more accepting of older teachers would have a positive impact.

 

CHART 2: WHAT WORKPLACE CHANGES WOULD MAKE YOU STAY IN THE WORKFORCE LONGER – EDUCATION WORKERS

 

Jenny Rollinson concludes: “Teaching is a vocation, and schools clearly need to appeal to this sense of purpose and passion for the job, and recognise that older education workers may be looking for a slight change in their role and position as they start thinking about retirement. Mentoring can help fight the talent exodus on two fronts – firstly keeping senior teachers professionally fulfilled and engaged for an extra few years of employment, and also ensuring that their wisdom and experience is passed down to the new generation of NQTs. 

 

“Lifestyles and responsibilities also change as people get older, and if schools can be more sensitive to this, they may be able to hold onto senior teaching staff for longer. Healthcare demands for both workers and their loved ones can become harder to negotiate, but flexible working arrangements or phased retirement can help make employment possible for longer.

 

“Not all teachers will want to leave the profession at state pension age, and there is certainly plenty of research to show that staying in the workforce keeps the older generation in better physical and mental health. Therefore, retraining schemes are vital to make sure that older teachers still feel confident of the latest teaching methods, curriculum changes and technologies used in the classroom – to prevent them from bowing out earlier that they would want to.

 

“Senior teachers looking to move schools should take into account their future employer’s attitude to supporting them in the run-up to retirement. The best schools will already be proactively planning for this demographic shift, and preparing to accommodate an ageing workforce and retain their best staff as armour against the talent exodus.”

 

 

[1] A New Vision for Older Workers: Retain, Retrain, Recruit – March 2015

[2] The Quebec convergence and Canadian life satisfaction 1985-2008 – 2011

The Search is on for the Nation’s Most Passionate School Gardeners

RHS School Gardeners of the Year 2016 competition
is now open for entries

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has today (Monday 11 January) launched its annual search for the most talented and inspiring school gardeners in the RHS School Gardeners of the Year 2016 competition.

Schools across the UK are invited to nominate their gardening superstars for three coveted awards: RHS Young School Gardener of the Year, RHS School Gardening Team of the Year, and RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year. The deadline for entries is Friday 22 April.

Shortlisted nominees will then be asked to make a short video demonstrating their love of gardening, which will be judged by an experienced panel headed up by horticulturist and television presenter Frances Tophill.

Winners of the three categories will receive a host of prizes including £500 in gardening vouchers for their school, tools, tickets to an RHS Flower Show and opportunities such as the chance to work alongside RHS gardeners for a day or a visit from Frances to their school, to help make the most of their school garden.

In 2015 the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year competition was won by Heather Birkby, 14, from Broughton High School, Preston. Heather impressed the judges with her broad horticultural knowledge, and her natural ability to engage those around her. She also demonstrated her dedication to the diverse benefits of gardening, by championing plants for pollinators, and designing a sensory garden for people with dementia.

RHS School Gardening Team of the Year was Palmerston School, Liverpool, which was praised for its incredible teamwork and enthusiasm. The school – which supports pupils with learning difficulties – has worked hard to create a dedicated gardening area suitable for cross-curricular activities such as mini enterprise projects and work experience.

RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year aims to find dedicated teachers and school volunteers who are helping to teach young people valuable skills in the garden. Last year Peter Edwards, an 82-year-old gardening volunteer who regularly spends five days a week assisting pupils at Rosary Catholic Primary School in Heston, Middlesex, in gardening activities, was recognised for his enthusiasm and tireless dedication.

Heather Birkby, RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2016, said: “I was surprised to be chosen as one of the finalists of Young School Gardeners of the Year, and I was very excited when I heard that I had won. The competition helped me realise the vast range of skills we have learnt at our school gardening club, and gave me the opportunity to share ideas with the other RHS School Gardeners of the Year finalists.

“It has brought huge benefits not just to me but to my school and other local schools; more pupils are interested in gardening and more people have asked to get involved in the school gardening club. It has been a wonderful experience and I encourage any schools considering entering to get involved!”

Frances Tophill, horticulturist, television presenter and RHS School Gardeners of the Year judge, said: “I love working with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening. Every year I meet individuals, teachers, mentors and teams who inspire me with a fresh perspective or a new idea and buckets of enthusiasm. Fitting horticulture into an already bustling school life takes dedication and perseverance, but is wonderful for all aspects of a young person’s development and it’s essential that we train and inspire the horticulturists of the future.

“This is a campaign I am proud to be part of and the RHS School Gardeners of the Year competition gives people the recognition they deserve for their wonderful work.”

Sarah Cathcart, RHS Head of Education and Learning, said: “The RHS School Gardeners of the Year is a fantastic way to showcase the talent of the country’s young horticulturists, involve more schools in the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and enthuse more children and young people about the benefits of horticulture and the diverse career opportunities it can provide.”

To enter the competition, schools should head to the RHS Campaign for School Gardening website at www.rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening

To get an idea of what the RHS is looking for, view the 2015 finalists’ videos on the RHS Campaign for School Gardening’s YouTube page at www.youtube.com/user/RHSSchoolGardening

hey!tech at CES 2016: Express yourself inside and outside your device!

January 2016-. Hey!tech (Booth 36511-LVCC South Hall 4) is a pioneering and worldwide unique technology that is built into the back of mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, through a 16×16 dot display. It allows interaction with the environment by displaying everything that happens on the screen and giving real-time feedback and expressing emotions through icons, emoticons or messages, both fixed and animated… This way, it opens a new horizon in terms of communication and user experience.
Since always we use signs, tattoos, clothing … to express who we are and what we like. Technology however seems to ignore this fact. Hey!tech breaks down communications barriers transforming the back case of the devices into an interactive window to express whatever we want.

 

Hey! Social

 

“Hey!tech is a social facilitator. It helps users to connect with the people around you instantly. You can express yourself inside and outside your device. Besides, with hey!tech technology you can maximize your resources and your time” Miguel Ángel García Manchado, hey!tech CEO says.

 

With hey!tech you can show what you like: your football team, your favorite movie or book, your favorite band, the instruments you play, music festivals, icon artists, your favorite brand, your favorite places for holidays… Also shows how you feel: share to the people around you if you are feeling like party, in love, stressful, sad, enthusiastic…

Finally, show who you are: the year you were born, your nationality, your university, what you do for a living, your hobbies…

 

Hey! Professional

With hey!tech technology you can maximize your resources and your time. You can show your own availability like “Do not disturb feature”, “On skype”, “Back in few minutes…” Besides, who you are professionally speaking (your name, your position, the logo of your company…), events and contests…
Hey! Gaming

hey!tech technology shows who you are in your real and virtual life! Show the weapons you use, your points…Show off!

 

Hey! Education

The teacher would have an instant feedback to supervise if the students understand the current lesson and supervise if they are on the correct web or app. In this way teacher can adapt the pace of the class making sure everybody has understood the lesson. Though different interactive games between the teacher and the kids hey!tech will make classes more interactive! Kids won´t be afraid any more to be the first one to raise their hand or express their opinion in public. Learning has never been this fun!

There are different modes available:

Traffic light: Students will have a traffic light interface where they can easily express if they understand the subject or they got lost during the class.

Quick Test: The teacher can throw a question with different possible responses and the students will choose the one they think it´s right.

“Raise your hand”: Students can use this option whenever they have a question or they want to share something with the class.

 

“hey!tech helps kids express themselves and at the same time teachers can supervise the level of understanding and adapt the pace of the class. It´s a win to win technology”, Miguel Ángel García Manchado, hey!tech CEO says.

 

Video: https://vimeo.com/146099966

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Crambo: Value added wholesaler and supplier of integrated solutions for Education will present the latest innovation in classroom technology.

 

Schools getting fit for the New Year

Research carried out by  the Get Britain Standing campaign has revealed that the average Brit spends a staggering 8.9 hours every day sitting down, be that at work, in a car or on the sofa in front of the TV. Gavin Bradley, director of the organisation, has likened sitting to smoking in the 70s and the passive smoking of the 90s, claiming that, “we all know a sedentary lifestyle is bad for us, we just don’t realise how bad it is. Spending less time sitting down really can add years to your life.”

It seems that everywhere we turn at the moment, a light is being shone on the serious issue of childhood and adult obesity. And what better time to address the issue than at the start of a brand new year. At the top of many of our lists of New Year’s Resolutions is the affirmation to ‘get healthy and be more active’, but encouraging this same enthusiasm and determination among students has traditionally proved more challenging.

Bucking this trend however, is All Saints Secondary School in Dagenham. Daisy Hamilton, head of PE at the school, says that last year, the school reported a significant increase in students’ uptake of physical activities, with 95 per cent of Key Stage 3 pupils attending at least one extracurricular club. Here, she shares her tips for keeping kids enthusiastic about physical education (PE).

There has been ample research to suggest that childhood obesity is a growing concern in the UK, and considering children spend most of the day at school, as teachers, it’s our responsibility to ensure that students are practicing a healthy lifestyle. By providing a balanced and diverse extracurricular programme for all our students, we aim to help each and every one find a sport or activity that they enjoy and want to play. We are working hard to ensure that regardless of their age or physical ability, students are able and willing to participate.

The NHS recommends that young people get 60 minutes of physical activity per day. However, today’s students have very busy lives. With coursework, after school jobs and general teenage drama, finding this spare hour can feel like an unnecessary addition to the day. Nevertheless, schools need to ensure that students still participate in PE. Making sure all your students are present, at the very least, is a great starting point.

From the social interaction you get through sport, to the mood-boosting endorphins released when you exercise:  it is, quite literally, an incredibly healthy way for students to keep fit, and relieve themselves from any stress. By repositioning the attitude of children so that they see exercise as a fundamental part of day-to-day life, we are cultivating their future lifestyle into one which will make them healthier and happier.

Variety and inclusion

It’s useful to introduce pupils to various different roles within sports, and encourage them to try out different positions such as umpiring and coaching. By introducing the roles of coach, organiser or official, every student can engage and participate, without having to  be directly involved in the game every time. In addition, this develops a wider skill set and deeper understanding and purpose of the sport at hand.

But student engagement is not the only factor in a successful PE department; having enthusiastic staff is also hugely important. If staff are willing get involved, it helps to build a school community which has teamwork and supportiveness at its core. In addition, offering various different sports to students is crucial in achieving the highest possible levels of student participation; including everyone is a key objective after all. Providing both recreational and competitive clubs is also a good idea, as students who don’t want to compete against other schools or their peers are still given the opportunity to get active.

And by involving everybody, irrespective of ability, you are generating an environment which fosters both physical activity and inclusivity. As a part of our endeavour to be as all-inclusive as possible, we have been running an SEN club that had the opportunity to go to the Dagenham YMCA to try Boccia (a precision ball sport, related to bowls), boxing, and to use the fitness suite. The SEN club has also received football coaching with Euro Dagenham and Panathalon, where three of our pupils were selected to go through to the next round of the competition representing Barking and Dagenham.

Looking ahead  

After parents, schools are arguably the next largest influence on children, so it is imperative for us as educators to acknowledge our responsibility to cultivate enthusiasm in our students for sport and physical education from an early age. Experts have, quite rightly in my opinion, described sitting as a ticking time bomb of ill health just waiting to explode.

Therefore, by ensuring that a wide variety of activities are available for students of all levels, children can grow to see sport and exercise as a natural part of their daily life, perpetuating better fitness levels and a healthier lifestyle for generations to come.

Climate Games mark exciting conclusion to economics summer school

AEMS - Climate Talks - FINAL (2)

 

Students attending a summer school in the heart of Vienna can get a global perspective on climate change, with a simulated exercise that captures all the pace, excitement and impact of the subject.

The Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems (AEMS) summer school gives participants a unique opportunity to take part in the exercise as part of the programme.

In the historic setting of Vienna’s old town, the AEMS students are placed in groups to represent countries from around the globe, each vying for the best deal for their nation, whilst balancing global impact.

In 2015, the games were chaired by University Professor Dr Helga Kromp-Kolb a world-renowned expert in climate change.

The presence of distinguished academics, combined with the atmospheric setting and diversity of the students all create a realistic and highly-charged event with a truly international flavour.

Taking place from the 27 July until 14 August 2016, the AEMS course is organised by the OeAD-Housing Office, which offers sustainable accommodation for students across Austria, together with the city’s BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, and the Economy For The Common Good movement.

It is operated under a not-for-profit arrangement and as a result costs €1390. This price includes all accommodation, which is based in OeAD’s highly energy efficient passive house student properties in Vienna.

The course runs for two and a half weeks and at the end students are able to enjoy an additional free week in the OeAD accommodation, providing an ideal opportunity to explore Vienna cost-effectively and continue their networking opportunities.

The programme and all the social activities surrounding it are held wholly in the English language.

Günther Jedliczka, CEO of the OeAD-Housing Office, said: “The talks give the students an invaluable insight into the major considerations surrounding the global climate debate.

“Those taking part also gain confidence in group discussions and at the same time build-up a global network of contacts which are invaluable for their future career.

“The students on the AEMS course are looking to break the mould and make a real difference to reshaping our economy in the future.

“Their input and commitment to the climate change talks provides an exciting and inspirational dimension to a thought-provoking summer school.”

Vienna is the heartland of the Economy for the Common Good movement, which provides the focus for AEMS.

The course looks at and debates alternatives to the capitalist system, where profits still count, but factors such as life-work balance, ethics, sustainability and the environment are all factored in.

It also offers a unique opportunity for students wanting to understand how happiness and satisfaction are key drivers rather than material goods.

Students completing the AEMS summer school will be awarded five ECTS points. Training is delivered by a consortium of Austrian universities, together with technical colleges, experts and NGOs.

Places for the AEMS summer school are limited and applications are now open at www.summer-university.net

There is also a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AEMSVienna

Science Teaching in the Digital Age: Discovery Education to lead session at ASE Conference

Discovery Education, one of the UK’s leading providers of digital content and professional development for schools, will join hundreds of science teachers from across the UK at the Association for Science Education (ASE) Conference in Birmingham this week.

 

The ASE Conference, held at The University of Birmingham from 6 – 9 January, is Europe’s largest science education event, and is expected to attract in excess of 2000 delegates over the course of 4 days.

 

Richard Wong, former physics teacher and Discovery Education Secondary Development Editor, will present a session on how video and digital content can be used to bring science teaching to life for secondary school pupils. Entitled Encouraging Curiosity: Expanding Horizons Through Video’, the session will showcase a range of innovative teaching ideas, and illustrate how video can inspire pupils and help teachers to showcase the spectacular in everyday science lessons.

“Digital content can be one of the most powerful tools at a science teacher’s disposal”, said Richard Wong. “It brings the real world into the classroom, and can help students to understand and relate to complex scientific concepts. We’re really thrilled to be given the opportunity to meet with so many science teachers from schools across the UK, and look forward to providing practical ideas to help them utilise their digital resources.”

ASE is the largest professional subject association in the UK; Space Scientist and TV Presenter Dr Lucie Green and Human Genetics Professor Steve Jones will be among the speakers at this year’s conference. The event is an opportunity for teachers, technicians, and science enthusiasts to share ideas and best practice in science education, while learning about cutting-edge research.

Susanne Thompson, Vice President and Head of School Partnerships at Discovery Education said:

 

“We’re really honoured to be invited to speak at The Association for Science Education Conference, and to connect with so many teachers who are passionate about using digital resources to bring science education to life. We’ve recently launched Discovery Education’s new Science Content Collections – designed to help teachers deliver dynamic, interactive science lessons. With exclusive content exploring topics such as DNA and Genetics, Nuclear Fusion, and Adaptation, these new curriculum-matched resources are a perfect example of how video can help students to experience and understand even the most intangible of subjects.”

 

Discovery Education empowers teachers and captivates pupils by providing high-quality, dynamic, digital content to primary and secondary schools across the UK. Through its award-winning digital content, interactive lessons, virtual experiences with some of Discovery’s most talented presenters and contributors, classroom contests and challenges, professional development and more — Discovery Education is leading the way in bringing learning to life. Part of Discovery Communications, the world’s leading non-fiction media company, Discovery Education is one of the fastest growing providers of educational services in the UK.

 

Dr. Sylvia Taylor-Goh to lead Postgraduate Education at Sensory Integration Network

The Sensory Integration Network UK & Ireland is delighted to welcome Dr. Sylvia Taylor-Goh to its Board of Directors, in the pivotal role of Director of Postgraduate Education.

Dr. Taylor-Goh brings to the Board her experience in postgraduate and post-registration health education from a range of higher education settings and in a variety of roles. In addition, her PhD advancing knowledge of AHP clinical decision making (King’s College London), will inform how one understands the development of students as ASI practitioners across the Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma/Masters courses in Sensory Integration.

As Director of Postgraduate Education, Dr. Taylor-Goh will lead a team of experienced and highly reputable clinical specialists in the area of Ayres Sensory Integration. She will be responsible to the Board for the planning, development and implementation of all of Sensory Integration Network’s postgraduate university accredited courses.. She will work in collaboration with Ulster University, to deliver a high quality postgraduate, post registration, education programme and enrich the experience and learning of all SI Network students on accredited courses.

Dr. Taylor-Goh’s significant clinical, educational and publishing profile, combined with a strong interpersonal style, will also promote the overall work of the Sensory Integration Network.

She says, “I am delighted to be joining the board of the SI Network UK and Ireland. In my new role as Director of Postgraduate Education my aim is to promote excellence in both the provision and delivery of the post graduate courses and ensure relevance to clinical practice”

PARENT HUB SET TO LAUNCH FREE SERVICE & HOST INFLUENTIAL ROUNDTABLE ON PARENTAL ENGAGEMENT IN SCHOOLS AT BETT SHOW 2016

Parent Hub, the smartphone app that helps parents and teachers connect more effectively will be exclusively launching a new, free version of its service at the BETT Show 2016, which will be held at ExCel in London between 20th and 23rd January.

 

The Parent Hub team will be showcasing the app throughout the show at stand BFG7. They’ll be available to help teachers sign up for free and offer insight into their fresh philosophy of Parental Engagement for Learning.

 

To explore the wider topic of parental engagement, Parent Hub is also hosting an exclusive roundtable event on Wednesday 20th January at 5.15pm at the Primary Learn Live theatre, BETT Show 2016. Nick Haisman-Smith, Chief Executive Officer at Family Links, and Janet Goodall, a lecturer in educational leadership and management at Bath University will be joining the debate along with other panellists, including headteachers, teachers and parents. Attendees will be offering their insight on the need for a new approach to parental engagement, as well as exploring ways in which technology can aid better educational outcomes for young people.

 

James Whitaker, founder of Parent Hub said: “We are really proud to be launching our free version of Parent Hub as part of BETT Futures, the recognised home of the world’s most inspiring ed-tech start-ups.

 

“Parental Engagement is set to be a hot education topic of 2016, and for us, we believe a fundamental new approach is needed in order to truly harness its potential. We’re pioneering what we call Parental Engagement for Learning, whereby parents and teachers work together to extend and improve a young person’s opportunities to learn. Through this roundtable, we’ll be exploring ways in which technology, amongst other things, can help to remove the barriers between school and home so that this partnership can have a transformative positive impact on the student.”

 

For further information on the event, or to register, please visit parenthub.eventbrite.co.uk or visit the Parent Hub website at parenthub.co.uk

Fennies Serves Up Memorable Mealtimes with the Help of Leading UK Food Expert Annabel Karmel

Childcare group Fennies has recruited the UK’s number one parenting author and leading food expert Annabel Karmel MBE to design a series of brand new nursery menus.

Recognised all over the world for devising delicious, nutritious meals for babies and children, Annabel is working closely with Fennies’ chefs to bring a wealth of expertise and cooking knowhow to its menus.

“We know how important it is for children to stay fuelled on the right foods while in our care, and our mission is to ensure that mealtimes are a memorable, much-loved part of the day,” said John Warren, Director of Childcare at Fennies, which has eight nurseries in south London and Surrey.

“We  recognise the importance of introducing a diverse range of delicious flavours to encourage good, healthy eating habits for the future.  That’s why we are delighted to be working with the ultimate food guru to serve recipes that even the fussiest eaters will enjoy.”

Annabel commented: “Eating habits and tastes are formed from an early age, so it’s incredibly important to introduce a good variety of foods at the earliest possible opportunity.

“Fennies shares my vision to ensure that every child gets the nutrients they need for their development and long-term health, and my freshly prepared, well balanced menus certainly put the ‘mmm’ into mealtimes.”

The new menu, which caters for all dietary requirements, will be introduced across all eight Fennies nurseries in Croydon, Beckenham, Sanderstead, Bromley, Purley, Horley and Epsom in March 2016.