9th December 2015

Dundee Pupil is Scotland’s Top Health and Food Technology Student

A sixth year pupil at Harris Academy, Dundee, has been presented with the award for Scotland’s Top Health and Food Technology Student by BBC Masterchef: The Professionals winner Jamie Scott.

Nicole Cumming, was one of almost 1000 students to take the Higher Health and Food Technology course which addresses contemporary issues affecting food and nutrition. These include ethical and moral considerations, sustainability of sources, food production and development, and their effects on consumer choices.

As Scotland’s top Health and Food Technology student, Nicole will receive an award of £100 from Quality Meat Scotland (QMS). Harris Academy will also receive a special £100 voucher to purchase Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb or Specially Selected Pork for use in classes.

Thousands of pupils from across Scotland benefited from the QMS School Meat Voucher Scheme last year. The meat voucher scheme was introduced to assist young people with their culinary skills, in particular cooking red meat as part of a healthy balanced diet.

The initiative, which was also developed in recognition of school budget constraints, offers all Scottish secondary schools a voucher worth up to £100 to enable teachers to buy red meat for use in cookery classes.

Qualified nutritionist and QMS Health and Education Executive Jenni Henderson said: “We are delighted to support the Higher Health and Food Technology course and would like to congratulate Nicole on her tremendous achievement.

“The Higher requires pupils to analyse the relationships between health, food and nutrition, and plan, make and evaluate food products to a range of dietary and lifestyle needs – invaluable skills in today’s society.”

BBC Masterchef: The Professionals winner Jamie Scott, who is opening his own restaurant in Newport early in 2016, was delighted to present Nicole and Harris Academy with their well-deserved awards.

“As the top Health and Food Technology student in Scotland, Nicole will now have a keen understanding of the importance of good nutrition and how food is produced.

“As a chef, I think promoting a healthy balanced lifestyle and encouraging young people to be interested in food and nutrition is extremely important.”

Gail Reid, principal teacher of Home Economics at Harris Academy, also added her congratulations.

“Nicole is an extremely confident and conscientious student who has a can-do attitude. She was a pleasure to have in class and I could see she thoroughly enjoyed the course. I wish her all the best in her sixth year studies.”

QMS was also proud to support this year’s top student award in National 5 Hospitality: Practical Cookery, won by Chloe Trott from The High School of Glasgow.

According to Graeme Findlay, Scottish Qualification Authority’s Qualification  Manager for Health and Food Technology and Hospitality subjects, over 20,000 Scottish secondary school pupils are now taking certificated food related courses every year, which is almost double that of five years ago.

Mr Findlay continued: “The significant increase in the number of pupils developing food and health technology skills is a very encouraging trend.

“Tomorrow’s parents will have a better understanding of nutrition than the previous generation, and be able to make informed choices about their families diets.”

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