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Who We Are

Leiths Academy is unique. It is a complete package of cookery learning, designed and run by our experienced team of cookery teachers who understand the joys and challenges of teaching practical cookery. It is also a positive and caring cookery community where no question is too small, and everyone is supported to achieve their very best.

The Leiths Academy Package

As a Leiths Academy School, you gain access to all our cookery courses and can choose the best fit for your community. As experienced teachers ourselves, we recognise that every school and pupil is different, and our courses have been designed to be flexible to your individual needs. Whether you have an established cookery department or no facilities at all, we can help you teach your young people how to cook.

Leiths Academy is a complete cookery package. Every course comes with a detailed scheme of work and each session is supported with lesson plans and student notes; fully tested recipes and step-by-step skills videos; scalable shopping lists and ordering requirements. We also undertake all marking and internal verification of coursework and a Leiths visiting teacher will come to your school in person to manage and mark all practical assessments. Our unique, interactive portal is designed for safe and secure submission of coursework as well as all visual and written evidence on a week-by-week basis making the end of course submissions to our awarding body seamless and providing teachers with an excellent tracking tool.

Leiths Academy is all about enabling exceptional cookery teaching.

Schemes of Work

Each scheme of work is easy to follow, clearly identifying the weekly menu and lesson skill focus. It will also signpost you to the accompanying resources including teacher lesson plans, student notes and any relevant fact sheets and videos to support the lessons.


We pride ourselves in providing every recipe you will need to deliver each course. Our recipes are ‘tried and tested’ by our team of experienced teachers at Leiths School of Food and Wine in London and are accompanied by fully costed scalable shopping lists to enable waste free ordering. Dietary and allergen guidelines are also taken into consideration and your mentor can work with you to adapt recipes to suit dietary needs.

Our Portal

Leiths Academy cookery courses sit within our interactive digital portal which has been purpose built for Leiths Academy. It allows easy access to all teacher and student resources including a wide range of skills videos for viewing in or out of the classroom. Students and teachers can access the portal securely via their phone, tablet or computer to record photo evidence and weekly evaluations as well as complete their coursework. A unique colour coded student tracker monitors weekly progress, which is an invaluable teacher resource for parents’ meetings and report writing.

  • Purpose built for Leiths Academy
  • Easy access to all teacher and student resources
  • Skills videos for viewing in or outside the classroom
  • Colour coded student tracker to monitor and track weekly progress
  • Flexible photo and evaluation upload by phone, tablet or computer

Teacher Lesson Plans & Student Notes

Our experienced team of Leiths Academy teachers has written an extensive range of accompanying resources to reduce planning time and enable delivery of well-paced informative lessons. These carefully scaffolded resources have all been tried and tested in a range of different state and independent schools and we know they work. However, you can of course use them as building blocks to create your own resources, differentiated to suit your students’ individual needs.

Marksheets & Marking Criteria

Every menu is accompanied by detailed marksheets for teachers and students to use as an interactive teaching and learning resource. Teachers are encouraged to taste and mark each menu every week to help students develop their skills and ensure they are well prepared for their end of course practical assessments.


Our accredited courses include some written coursework; however, we ensure it is relevant to everyday life and useful for future job opportunities. We build in opportunities for teacher tutorials to ensure students are fully supported and provide up to date exemplar material benchmarked against grade boundaries. All coursework is submitted securely via our online portal for marking and moderation by the Leiths Academy team.

Assessment Visits

Our Leiths Academy examiners will come to manage, invigilate and mark all your practical assessments. Wherever possible, we do our very best to ensure your visiting teacher returns as your examiner, to ensure your students are relaxed and confident on their assessment day.


As soon as you become a Leiths Academy School you will be allocated and introduced to your own Leiths Academy mentor who will be your ‘go to’ person for one-to-one support and guidance. You can raise questions or queries on the phone or by email and can also book an additional bespoke support visit for an individual member of staff or for your whole team or class.

Support Visits

Our Leiths Academy visiting teachers will visit in person at regular intervals to help your staff and students achieve their best.  The support visits are your visits, and you can plan the best use of this time in advance with your mentor.

CPD & Teacher Training

As a Leiths Academy school you have access to a wide range of CPD and training opportunities and events for teachers and support staff. We hold an annual training event at the end of each academic year which is as much about networking as it is about training. We also provide a calendar of annual CPD events around the UK as well as a training service to arrange a ‘training day at home’ where the facilities and equipment are familiar, and the training can be tailored to your individual needs.

Our Team

Alison Cavaliero – Principal

As principal of the Academy, Alison leads the team with a wealth of experience.
Alison trained at Leiths School of Food and Wine and has worked in a number of senior roles at Leiths, including setting up Leiths List chef recruitment in 1996. She has a lifetime of commitment to teaching children and young adults how to cook and has led Leiths Academy since 2000. Alison lives near Bath and continues to enjoy visiting schools and pupils across the country.

Maria Dunbar – Development Director

As Development Director Maria is always searching for innovative people and partnerships.
Maria has enjoyed a long career as a cookery teacher before joining Leiths Academy. She has set up and led cookery departments across the state and independent sectors including two Leiths Academy schools in Gloucestershire and Cornwall. Maria is passionate about the ability cookery has to change hearts and minds and believes every child should be able to access excellent cookery education. She lives in Cornwall but spends lots of time travelling around the country constantly in search of like-minded people and new opportunities for Leiths Academy.

Alistair Turner – Head of Teaching and Learning

As Head of Teaching and Learning, Alistair ensures our courses are delivered to the highest possible standards.
Alistair trained at Leiths School of Food and Wine before cooking in a range of fine dining restaurants across Cornwall. He then turned to teaching to share his knowledge and inspire the next generation, culminating as a Head of Department in a Leiths Academy School before coming back to Leiths in a senior Academy role. Alistair ensures our courses remain current and engaging and that our Academy teachers are supported with excellent resources and training. He lives in Cornwall but travels widely during term time, visiting schools and delivering hands on and ‘talked about’ training.

Katy Barrett – Operations Manager

As Operations Manager Katy ensures the day-to-day operation of Leiths Academy runs smoothly.
Katy trained at Leiths School of Food and Wine in South Africa before moving to the UK where she worked around the country as a chef before becoming a teacher and leading a Leiths Academy school in Gloucestershire. As Operations Manager, Katy provides support to Leiths Academy schools throughout the academic year and is the first point of call for all our teachers. She also manages our digital platforms and coordinates our team of visiting teachers across the UK. Katy lives near Cheltenham and is the ‘go to’ person for Academy staff and schools alike.

Our Schools

Leiths Academy is proud to work with all schools and settings. We work with State, Academy and Independent Schools; with Virtual Schools and within the Special Provision sector. Leiths Academy is leading the way to enable young people to access hands on practical cookery lessons regardless of postcode or lifestyle.

Contact Us

To learn more about Leiths Academy, our courses or for any opportunities please contact us using the form below.

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Leiths Academy Blog & Updates

Here is a taste of some Leiths Academy real-life stories as well as how-tos, recipes, news and cookery tips. Browse our extensive library of Leiths resources.  


Lara Lee’s Miso and Gochujang Butter Chicken

Leiths Diploma graduate Lara Lee is an Australian chef and food writer of Chinese-Indonesian heritage. Her first book Coconut & Sambal: Recipes from my Indonesian Kitchen was selected by the New York Times as one of the best cookbooks of 2020. The recipe below is from her latest, A Splash of Soy: Everyday Food from Asia.

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Alumni Stories: Tom Geoffrey of Barang Street Kitchen

After winning Best Pitch on our How to Start Up a Successful Business course, Tom Geoffrey went on to become the chef and founder of Barang Street Kitchen, a Cambodian street food concept and pop-up. Tom tells us about his love for Cambodian food, his plans for Barang, and how attending Leiths’ food business course helped him achieve his dreams.

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