Could you be a school catering assistant?

With fun, games and a bite to eat, lunchtime is often the most fun kids have during the school day.

And you could become part of the action as a school catering assistant, helping to serve food to children during their dinner time.

This sort of work can be varied – you might be asked to make food, as well as serve it, among other tasks, for example.

So what sort of skills could come in handy in this sort of role? It's always best to check whether you match the skills that are set out in a specific job ad before you apply, but here are just some thoughts that might get you thinking about whether you would enjoy this kind of work.

Getting on with kids

It goes without saying that getting on well with kids is a great start if you want to work in a school. You may well end up interacting with children, so if you're good at communicating with teens or younger boys and girls, you'll be able to help them and serve them all the better.

If you don't think of yourself as liking children, it might be wise to think twice about applying for this kind of role.

If you think you have an affinity with teens, rather than younger kids, you could try and find work in a secondary school. On the other hand if, for example, you think you would be better at dealing with children under 12, a primary school might be a better bet.


Are you the sort of person who will deal with kids kindly if they ask you something, and who they'll feel comfortable talking to? Not everyone has direct experience talking to and serving school pupils, but you might be able to bring other areas of your skill-set into action here.

It's also true that, if you feel a little nervous dealing with young people at first because you're not used to it, it will be possible to develop your abilities over time. A desire to do your best in the situation is a great start.

You don't mind a busy environment

With kids eating, collecting food and generally enjoying the fun of lunchtime, school dining areas can be busy. You might have to deal with a lot of children coming to collect their food quite quickly – while being able to respond well to the extra little issues that can crop up when you're dealing with youngsters, for example.

Not many people working in a restaurant will face customers bursting into tears – but in a primary school, it could be a much more regular feature, for example.

You're good with food

Some food skills will go down well, especially if you're going to be working in a kitchen, getting meals prepared for the kids.

A typical shift could see you arrive, put work into getting food cooked and ready for lunchtime, then serving it up to children and helping to maintain the dining area while they eat.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you find catering jobs.