The Benefits of Freelance Catering in Schools 

There are many bonuses to working in the catering industry that are too often overlooked, especially in the school and education sectors.

Contract catering in schools can offer stability in a Monday-Friday working week, as well as prolonged breaks between term time for you to pursue other passions, and time to connect with friends and family. Working in schools can also offer a healthy work-life balance and more sociable hours.

Taking missions in school can also be higher paid on average compared to similar missions due to their location outside of central London. Working in schools is also a great way to diversify your experience and renew your sense of purpose by feeding the next generation.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or new to the industry, you should consider catering in the school and education sector to and take advantage of these benefits. 

Catering in Schools Offers Stability 

One of the main reasons people get into contract catering is for the stability that these roles provide. Taking a contract catering position in a school will mean regular working hours, most often between 7am and 3pm, Monday to Friday, and a consistent income that does not rely on customer numbers, or by sales. 

The roles available in schools are Kitchen Porters, Catering Assistants, Chef de Partie, Sous Chefs, and Head Chefs - a broad range in both skill and pay. You can find these positions posted on the Brigad app from a range of sites across and outside of London.  

Work and hours will also be consistent. The work will often be batch cooking with a predesigned monthly meal plan, with a fixed number of students to cater for. The cooking and the food will be simple compared to restaurant work, and the kitchen itself will be less intense, with routines that are streamlined for serving breaks and lunchtimes. 

This kind of stability is a rarity in many hospitality roles where rotas can be changing week to week, as well as orders and customer numbers dictating the work. School shifts are around 5 or 6 hours, leaving the rest of the day free for your other commitments. 

This kind of stability is great for people who struggle without a sense of routine. Some people love hospitality because of the flexibility - many enjoy working odd hours that change week to week; however, some people work better when they have regular hours to plan their lives around. This kind of consistency is something that many people in the hospitality industry crave, and this level of stability can be hard to find in restaurants.  

Work Sociable Hours with Contract Catering

Workers in the hospitality industry are expected to work unsociable hours, often late at night, or early in the morning, and often over public holidays. Weekend commitments make holiday planning a nightmare, and it is because of these commitments that hospitality workers often need help to strike a healthy work-life balance, consistently finding that they miss out on important social events.  

You can avoid working unsociable hours through contract catering in schools and education centres. Shifts in schools often begin at 7 or 8am, and finish around 2 or3 pm, meaning you have the late afternoon and all evening off of work. 

Shifts are also almost always on weekdays, leaving weekends free for valuable social time with friends and family. As a bonus, you will also have prolonged breaks between term time for rest and recovery, and long periods to spend with friends and family. This style of working is great for parents and carers who need to be home out of school hours to take care of their children, enabling them to work and spend valuable time at home. 

We have received positive feedback from Brigad’s users on working in schools; Richard, a chef, told us:

[Working in schools is] much more chill than a restaurant. There is one great benefit, working Monday-Friday and only mornings. This will not happen if you work for a restaurant, so it’s really great for a family person with kids, as I am.”

How to Get an Enhanced DBS Check 

You will need an enhanced DBS check to begin working in schools. A DBS is a criminal background check completed by the police, and everyone who works in schools in the UK must have a DBS, which is renewed each year via the government’s update service.

Brigad is working with Personnel Checks to help Brigad’s users obtain their DBS certificates. Brigad will cover the cost of the application.

 To start your DBS application, you should reach out to the Brigad team via the app, who will then help you get started via Personnel Checks to create an account, fill in the DBS form, and submit your ID. You will need three forms of ID. The valid IDs needed are a current passport, a BRP (biometric residence permit) and a driving licence. You will also need proof of address: bank statements, council tax bills, etc. The application takes around 14 days to process. 

You will receive your certificate in the post. Once your certificate arrives, let the Brigad team know. You should also contact the Brigad team if 14 days pass and you have not received the certificate. 

Once you have completed the process and obtained a DBS, a special tag will be added to your Brigad profile which will allow you to receive school missions. It is important that you then bring your DBS certificate and ID to the school when you arrive for the mission. If you do not have your DBS, they have a right to send you away. 

Work Freelance Catering in Schools

Are you interested in working contract catering missions? Contact customer support via the assistance on the app, or email us at for more information.

Or, if you’re a contract caterer looking for talented and experienced workers, create a Brigad account today!

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