Impact Report 2019/20


  • Edsential provides a full catering service to 150 schools across Cheshire West and Chester and Wirral producing over 23,000 meals every school day.
  • Our local butcher Nick Birtwistle prepared 1990 KG of Turkey during December
  • Over 90% of our schools are awarded ‘Scores on the Doors 5 stars Food Hygiene Rating’.
  • 293 catering staff passed Food Safety Level 2 this year.

World’s First Certified Sustainable Palm Oil Catering Company. 

Edsential works closely with Chester Zoo and is part of the Chester Sustainable Palm Oil City Project. These partnerships inspired the business to work with all its suppliers to ensure that 100 per cent of food ingredients and products contain palm oil from responsible and sustainable sources.

To find out more about our Sustainable Palm Oil Catering status please Click Here


Edsential Catering Awards Evening. 

The summer of 2019 saw first Edsential Catering awards evening, where we looked to award our staff for their service and commitment.

Images and further information about the awards evening can be found on our Catering page Here

The catering team cannot do enough for the school and the children.  They go above and beyond and even take on duties that are outside of their job description.  They have become really important members of the School Team even though they are employed by Edsential.

The kitchen is a really happy and jolly place to visit.  Although they are always very busy, nothing is too much trouble.  The food produced is of the highest standard and the take up of school meals by the children proves this point.” – Headteacher



Just like to say thank you for amazing evening was lovely meet everyone and to be invited to be part of this event ” – Catering team member.


  • Every day Edsential Cleaning Teams clean a combined area of 82,357 m2
  • 95% of customers surveyed indicated that cleaning staff demonstrate good customer care.
  • Number of reported workplace accidents within the cleaning team has reduced from 7 to 4.
  • 8 members of the cleaning team have received a Star of the Month
  • 117 Cleaning Audits were completed by the team leaders – average score is 84%
  • £34,348 spent on new cleaning equipment and
  • 87% of schools surveyed said that they would recommend the cleaning service to other colleagues.

We continue to receive positive feedback from our customers and this has continued to show the successful impact of these changes on the cleaning standards.

We have widely improved our Health and Safety provision across the service area so that less accidents are reported. We continue to improve Health and Safety Training for all staff within the workplace.

We continue to highlight and acknowledge the great work our staff do by using the Star of the Month award.

“I would like to thank Andrew Allmark, Facilities Manager, and his on-site team for their response in dealing with the issues that Christleton High School had with Edsential, in respect of cleaning standards on-site, prior to his appointment.

Andrew has continually responded in a timely and professional manner and the local team are always willing to work with the school to resolve any issues as and when they arise.

The way in which the company responds to issues is a real measure of their levels of customer focus and therefore on this basis of my recent experiences, I am happy to recommend Andrew and the cleaning service.” – Nigel Follos, Academy Trust Business Director – Christleton Learning Trust


  • 1,223 meetings since September 2019
  • 155 schools supported with clerking
  • 360 online meetings during summer 2020
  • 1915 total governors’ clerked in schools across Cheshire West & Chester, Halton and the Wirral
  • 69 admission appeals hearings
  • 79 Schools bought back the Governor Training SLA Membership
  • 39 New schools signed up to Governor Hub full subscription
  • 143 New NQT registrations over 84 schools

During the summer term clerks from the Governance service supported a small number of academies conduct their admission appeals hearings which occur when a parents application for a new school place is declined by the admitting school, generally because they are full. These Hearings are generally conducted in person and follow a set procedure laid down in statutory guidance.  This year the regulations were modified to allow online or written hearings to be conducted.  The Governance Service took the decision to host hearings online using Microsoft Teams and supported both the schools and the parents involved in joining meetings where an independent panel reviewed each of the individual cases.

This was a significant undertaking that led to schools meeting their statutory duties and providing the opportunity to parents to present their case in an open and transparent forum.

“Thought  this was a great course as a new governor, would highly recommend.” – Governor, Thingwall Primary School

“Excellent course, this is going to be in my ‘toolkit’ as a governance best practice.” – Governor, Ellesmere Port Catholic High School








  • We have created over 500 videos for First Access with 8 weeks of content across 12 instruments.
  • 50 videos have been created for Early Years to enable our Leaps and Bounds project to continue.
  • 80 young musicians collaborated in a performance video playing and singing ‘We’ll Meet Again’ to commemorate VE Day.
  • 5700 children and young people attended music ensembles
  • Edsential Musical Routes has worked with 260 schools to support or deliver music education programmes and activities
  • Over 5500 children had their first experience of learning to play an instrument free of charge in our ‘First Access’ programmes.
  • We have helped young musicians continue their learning from home by teaching online and by making over 500 interactive videos!
  • 6460 students?have?enjoyed weekly?whole-class instrumental or curriculum?teaching?sessions
  • Edsential has supported 208 schools to teach Singing via curriculum teaching, teacher training and other vocal projects.

Funding from The Amber Trust enabled a talented, visually impaired pupil to access one-to-one piano lessons with Edsential Musical Routes.

Thank you for organising such a wonderful event…It’s always lovely and gets us into the Christmas Spirit! Mel Gilbert – Shocklach Oviatt Primary


Fantastic ukulele lesson for Year 4 this afternoon, 6th lesson of 10! St Winefride’s Primary


Our amazing musicians performing with pride today!JH Godwin Primary School

Leaps & Bounds

  • 4 tutors
  • 17 primary schools
  • 17 nursery classes (school based)
  • 8 nursery settings (offsite)
  • Over 1, 250 children per academic year
  • Over 80 teachers and support staff per academic year
  • 52 YouTube videos with over 1, 700 views
  • By close of project in December 2020, we will have supported a full key stage cohort and their teachers / support staff (from F1 – Year 2) in some capacity

Leaps and Bounds – £100,000 Grant funded by the Charity Youth Music.

Leaps and Bounds is our creative music-making provision for EYFS children following a successful grant from Youth Music, a national charity.

Specialist EYFS music tutors have been working in 17 primary schools and their linked nurseries across Wirral and CWAC with Foundation 1 and 2 teachers and practitioners.

With an offer combining CPD, networking, direct delivery and collaborative events, we have enabled young children to listen to live music performed by their tutor and small ensembles, sing in their classrooms and in inspirational venues, explore and play percussion instruments.

Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, we were able to continue in providing both schools and families home-schooling with carefully planned musical learning activities with Leaps and Bounds At Home, using YouTube to share specially arranged pieces of music and ideas for exploring them with young children.

“Working with Dianne was fantastic. We felt very confident with our expressive arts and design assessments for the autumn term, as we had had the opportunity to observe the children engaging in music with Dianne. Great professional development for all the Reception staff.”Jan Sproston, Lache Primary School

“F2 have a had great start to the day. We took part in @edsential Leaps and Bounds ‘animals on the farm’ songs and activities. We enjoyed choosing instruments to represent different animals and had great fun playing them. Thank you @cate_madden and your great team!” – Tweet from St Werburgh’s Primary School










  • 65,240 bed nights – up 4285 year on year!
  • 23,330 customers enjoying life-changing experiences.
  • Increase in bed nights by 4285 year on year 
  • Developed new activities and courses.
  • Increasing Achievement & Development through real-life outdoor activity learning and immersive cultural experiences
  • Natural Environments, Adventures, Creative approaches and a Team to Challenge, Inspire, Educate & Motivate.
  • Safe Experiences and People which make a life-changing difference to young people’s lives.

Over the last few months we have identified increasing challenges to Youth and Foster services in how they support young people they care for, it has been a time where we have worked with these council departments to create a new opportunity to support the most vulnerable and under-privileged people in our communities through the creation of our Aiming Higher Course:

We believe that all young people, no matter what their background, should be entitled to a range of opportunities to enhance their education and develop their personal skills. We will be introducing students to outdoor activities and through this medium support them to learn new skills that will inspire them to aim higher, thus improving their self-confidence, personal and social skills and in turn their life chances.

We are based in the amazing natural environment of North Wales and can use the local countryside to run adventurous activities that will challenge, motivate and develop young people improving their:

  • Self-confidence, self-esteem, and resilience.
  • Ability to communicate.
  • Co-operation and teamwork.
  • Leadership skills

“Lots of flexibility in terms of changing our itinerary.  Instructors have been great as always. Kitchen staff were very flexible and patient with our late return from activities.”Youth Sport Trust – Outdoor Course

“Booking team were open to questions and very organised.  Facilities on site were prefect for what we needs and safe. Environment and setting very beautiful, all staff were always very helpful and the meals were perfectly filling.”  – Youth Sport Trust


“Can’t say enough about the staff – excellent on every level both with staff and pupils”The Hammond School

Learning Outside The Classroom

  • Training delivered to over 480 members of staff in schools across the North West
  • Over 1,000 pupils and parents attended and learnt essential LOTC skills through Forest Schools, Family engagement and Orienteering sessions. 
  • Support offered through Evolve off-site visits and guidance support for over 33,000 school visits. 
  • 2422 school visits were successfully approved and were safely able to go ahead, thanks to our LOTC service and the use of via Evolve. These 2,422 visits resulted in more than 216,000 crucial educational participant visit days

During the Academic year 2019 the school chose to use some of its Sports Premium to introduce a programme of Forest School sessions into the school.

Clear links exist to show that such rtime spent outside with a significant adult (class teacher) have physiological and emotional benefits for children.

The evidence also indicates that heart rate during such activity is higher than during traditional P.E. sessions.

The objectives were to initially  recruit a specialist Forest School practitioner from Edsential to work with staff delivering CPD aimed at guiding staff to deliver an increased proportion of their teaching time outside.

The result of such sessions ultimately to increase children’s physical activity and their understanding and appreciation of the outdoor spaces in their school.

Sessions were planned and delivered with clear links made to classroom learning allowing children to broaden both their understanding of learning involved in class and broadening their experience and understanding of the outdoor environment of their school.

“My child really enjoys these lessons. She sometimes struggles in class, so this is a good different way of learning that she enjoys.” – Parent

“My Girls love Forrest school as they don’t have the opportunity much at home. They have learnt so much and enjoy every session.” – Parent


  • 41 SEND specific training courses delivered to schools across the North West
  • Evaluations for all SEND training submitted rated from 95-100% excellent – outstanding
  • The number of parents / carers that were supported was 148 in 18 months by our SEND service throughout the year was 148.


We responded to feedback from Headteachers , Leadership and Governing Body teams , SENCO’s, teachers and parents/carers to develop our services ensuring they are  holistic in the way Edsential  engage with and support families, and that we  are highly responsive to their needs. Edsential is committed to supporting the child and young person as well as their parents or carers to access support and advice to enable both to realise their full potential.

Coming Soon









Physical Health and Wellbeing

  • Over 4000 children taking part in our breakfast and afterschool clubs
  • Over 500 children accessing high-quality PE lessons every week as part of our PPA delivery
  • Over 800 children participating in a sporting competitive event or festival
  • 765 children took part in our Personal Best Programme from September 2019 – March 2020 across 23 different primary schools.
  • Data shows that:
  • Prior to the programme over 30 children said they ‘Never’ like taking part in physical activity. This reduced to 0 by the end of the programme.
  • Following the programme, over 96% of children said they feel confident ‘some’ or ‘all’ of the time – an increase of over 100 children from before the programme.

We launched our Personal Best Programme. This programme utilises the power of being physically active and achieving their own personal best to make positive changes to the emotional, social and mental wellbeing of young people.

Find out more about the Personal Best Programme Here

National research showed that the best and most effective form of professional development involves teachers becoming actively engaged in learning.

Off of the back of this we launched a 6-week professional development programme for curriculum Physical Education follows a specific format that allows the teacher to observe, support, team teach and lead a lesson.

Curriculum Support Quote:

“A really supportive process. From seeing well led sessions to then conducting our own with some support it has been very useful professional development which can be used to improve the sessions I deliver. “ Teacher, Brookdale Primary School



Quote from Personal Best programme:

“It has helped me not to worry about playing games and being active. I feel confident to join in games at play times.”Child, Oxton St Saviour’s Primary School.



  • Edsential schools are on course for a significant increase in the number of Year 6 pupils meeting the national curriculum swimming requirements.  
  • In 2018/19 58% of year 6 pupils achieved all 3 aspects of the national curriculum. The current figure is already 62% and is expected to increase as more schools use top up sessions in the summer term March 2020 
  • 69% of our pupils leave primary school as competent swimmers

Our school swimming team provided schools with an efficient service to ensure as many children as possible leave primary education as competent swimmers.

Coming Soon

Holiday Activity Fund

  • 33 Organisations Commissioned  
  • A total number of 4,303 children received provison / nutritional support. This exceeded the projected target of 4036. 
  • An estimated 27,784 FREE meals provided to vulnerable children throughout the duration of the Holiday Activity Fund, which potentially contributed toward a decline in the use of local foodbanks. 
  • A whopping 25,232 attendance days were provided for family across West Cheshire to support free school meal children. 

Edsential CIC and Partners that include The Welcome Network, Cheshire West Voluntary Action and Cheshire West and Chester Council were successful in accessing Government funding of £500,000 to coordinate Holiday Activity Provision and Food Clubs over the summer holiday period in West Cheshire for 2019.

This project came to light initially in 2017 where it provided 12 days of provision that grew in 2018 to 90 days of provision, this year it provided over 500 days of provision.

A truly remarkable achievement with an outstanding impact for the local communities.

Coming Soon

Edsential Grant Fund

  • This year we returned £100,000 to schools in the form of a grant fund.
  • There were 12 winning applications whose projects impacted 72 schools across CWAC and Wirral. The grant fund was allocated to projects that focussed on children and would leave an educational legacy.

Coming Soon

Coming Soon









Creative and Performing Arts

  • 184 primary pupils from 5 schools celebrated Arts and Education in a Multicultural Society or Christmas at Conway, sharing an inspiring arts residential experience and raising their aspirations and personal well-being.
  • 8 weekend residentials for 668 students from 38 schools raised achievement in GCSE and A Level Creative and Performing Arts Examinations, directly contributing to exam success.
  • 44 Pupils and 7 Staff went on our Tuscany Residential Art Trip boosting their experience and personal skills for the future.

Edridge Trust:  Edsential secured £5,000-a-year from the Edridge Trust, for the next 3 years, to fund disadvantaged students to travel to Tuscany.

This year two delegates were in receipt of the bursary that supports gifted and talented A2 arts student  whilst studying their A level studies.

“Overall, this has been a life changing opportunity I have had the chance to be a part of and the memories and vital skills I have learnt are things I’ll never forget. I want to say a huge thank you to the staff who organized and took us on such an incredible trip I have learnt so much and am so grateful that I was picked to be a part of an experience which has given me so many memories to treasure. ” – Bursary funded Tuscany A2 Art Student.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

  • Number one provider in the North of England
  • 140 Gold Award recipients from Edsential have been invited to receive their award at Buckingham Palace
  • 1872 awards handed to children in Cheshire West and Chester
  • The highest number of gold awards in the North West at 271
  • 77% of Young People and 87% of Leaders said young people’s solving skills improved

Coming Soon

Coming Soon











So far in 2020





Partners & Accreditations

We reach further than just our local schools – our memberships and accreditations mean we influence decisions on a national level.