Sarah Levenson, catering manager from Lordsgate Township CofE Primary School, has won the Big School Bake Off following a hotly contested final which saw Sarah rise to the judges’ technical challenge.

The finalists were tasked with preparing their own take on ‘afternoon tea’ – which had to include a scone filled with homemade jam, a madeleine, and a pastry inspired by their region – all using Stork.

They had to create 12 ‘bitesize’ portions of each item, to test their uniformity. In addition to consistency across all 12 portions, judges were looking for creativity, taste and visual appeal.

Sarah Levenson said: “I can’t believe I’ve won. It’s amazing. I was so nervous. I came into the final to enjoy the experience and show my baking ability. The hardest part of the day for me was not knowing the kitchen and sticking to the time. But, once I started cooking my nerves subsided. I’d definitely recommend to all school caterers across the country to enter this competition. It’s so much fun and you meet so many great people. I’ve certainly made some fantastic friends throughout the process and I’m looking forward to entering again next year.”

Jo Wheatley, who led the expert judging panel, said: “What a final! The quality across the board was really impressive – so massive congratulations to Sarah.”

Alex Hall, Unilever Food Solutions executive chef, who was also on the panel, said: “Well done to all our finalists – particularly Sarah. The technical challenge was a real test of skill, creativity and consistency. How our finalists responded to the challenge is testament to the talent which can be found in school kitchens the country over.”

As well as the title of 2016 Big School Bake Off champion, Sarah has also won a day with Jo Wheatley at her school – where Jo will host a baking extravaganza.

Sarah and three friends will also be treated to a day with Jo and took home a £100 Love2Shop voucher too – courtesy of competition supporter Hobart.