At our most recent board meeting, the subject of cookery school awards was raised in terms of their relevance and impact on our members.

It was the board’s opinion that customers choose schools for a variety of reasons- location, course type and reputation. ICSA comprises a wide variety of schools, all with very different things to offer and therefore these awards it was felt, held little meaning.

ICSA’s president, Stella West-Harling said ‘Being an ICSA member is a sign of excellence. We do not need to be judged by an external body to be deemed worthy of an award.’ She continued ‘ ICSA is inclusive and supportive to all members. We feel that pitching members against each other in competition conflicts with our core values of community and support.’

Kit Maharajh, our new MD added ‘ Schools should not be judged by these competitions but rather by improving quality of all aspects of a cookery school in order to attract business and deliver on their promises. ‘

Stella continued ‘Any ICSA member is fully supportive of all ICSA members; they have a kite mark which shows excellence across the board. An ICSA member is already a winner.’

The board members as a mark of solidarity have now decided to boycott these awards and have removed any related branding from their websites and promotional materials.