School Meals - April 2021

We have been advised by the Local Authority catering service that the cost of a school meal will be increasing on April 1st 2021 to £2.55. We have also been advised of a further increase in September 2021. For some time now, we have been unhappy with the rapidly rising cost of school meals and have been raising our concerns with the catering service.

As a result, I am writing to let you know of some important changes that will be happening with regards to school catering at our school during the Summer term. From 1st July 2021, we will be bringing school catering in-house and will no longer be using the Local Authority catering service. We have given this considerable thought, but we believe that by bringing the catering in-house, we can improve the quality of our school meals and menu choice, maintain current school meal costs, as well as keep our excellent catering staff team.

The earliest that we can make this change is 01/07/21.

What does this mean for you?

From 1st April 2021 - the cost of a school meal will increase to £2.55.(current cost is £2.40) From 1st July 2021 - the cost of a school meal will reduce back down to £2.40. This means that parents will only be charged the higher cost from April to the end of June 2021. We then hope to be able to maintain the £2.40 cost for the next 12 months at least from July 1st 2021.

We hope that you will appreciate our efforts to keep the cost of school meals as affordable as possible whilst also improving our catering provision and will bear with us during this transition period. Payment for school meals should continue to be made through your SIMS Pay account and the amounts will be adjusted accordingly. This is a positive move forward for our school and families.

Thank you for your continued support.

File icon: pdf School Meals Letter April 2021.pdf [pdf 226KB] Click to download

Certified Ingredients

The catering service has been awarded the Soil Association's Food for Life Catering Mark, the Marine Stewardship Council’s Chain of Custody Standard, and the Good Egg Award.

The Food for Life award provides an independent guarantee that what's on your menu is freshly prepared, free from undesirable additives and better for animal welfare.

The Chain of Custody standard acknowledges that fish is only purchased from suppliers who support and source from sustainable fish stocks.

The Good Egg Awards celebrate companies who are showing leadership by sourcing or switching to cage-free eggs (barn, free-range or organic eggs).

Changes to free school meal eligibility under Universal Credit

Check if your child can get free school meals in England and find out how to apply on your local authority’s website.

Medical Information

If you have any medical information concerning your child's welfare that you feel is important for the school to know, please notify the school in writing. This includes any food allergies or food intolerances.

Packed Lunches

Although most children have school meals, sandwiches may be brought on request. If your child does bring a packed lunch could you ensure that it is in a sealed, plastic container with the child's name clearly marked. No hot drinks are permitted for safety reasons. Drinks should be in unbreakable containers.

At St Agnes we value the importance of a healthy lifestyle and encourage all the children to make healthy choices. We have noticed that some packed lunches and snacks are not as healthy as they could be and contain far too many processed foods or high calorie content.

Therefore following Government guidelines please see the below list of acceptable foods that can be put in your child’s lunchbox -

-  One portion of fresh fruit and one portion of fresh vegetable or salad every day.

-  Meat, fish or another source of non-dairy protein should be included every day. Non dairy sources of protein include lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, hummus and falafel.

-  An oily fish, such as salmon, should be included at least once every three weeks.

-  A starchy food, such as bread or pasta, rice, couscous, noodles, potatoes or other cereals, should be included every day.

-  A dairy food, such as semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, cheese, yoghurt, or fromage frais should be included every day.

- Fresh drinking water, fresh fruit juice or milk. No fizzy drinks or cordial.

-  No crisps, chocolate, chocolate coated biscuits or sweets at all.

-  Seeds, vegetables and fruit (with no added salt, sugar or fat).

-  Savoury crackers or breadsticks.

-  Any packaged snacks must be 100 calories or less and no more than 1 per day.

-  1 Cake or biscuit is allowed but these should be part of a balanced meal

- Meat products such as sausage rolls, individual pies, corned meat and sausages / chipolatas can be included occasionally.

Any items that are not following these guidelines will be removed from your child and returned at the end of the day.

All school dinners adhere to these guidelines and are planned by a dietician to offer children a healthy balanced daily meal. They follow strict guidelines and salt is not used in any of the preparation or cooking of the foods and sugar is kept to a minimum.

For further ideas about what to include in our child's packed lunch please visit the goverment website below.

Change 4 Life - Ideas for Healthy Packed Lunches

For a printable version of this list please click on the document below.

File icon: pdf Packed lunch Guidelines.pdf [pdf 157KB] Click to download

Break Time Snacks - Currently Not Running Due to Covid Restrictions

Healthy snacks can be brought into school by all our children to eat at break times.

Classes 3 and 4 are allowed snacks at morning break, a tuck shop is operated by two Year 6 pupils: 

Apple or orange juice - 35p

Toast is served once a week 20p

Bread sticks 10p for three

Buttered cracker 10p for two

Fresh fruit pots 20p 

Classes 1 and 2 are allowed snacks at afternoon break which are brought from home, please ensure that all snacks you provide for your child are healthy.

Fruit and Milk Scheme

Milk is available daily for Infant children in Classes 1 and 2, free of charge. Please let us know if your child will not require it.

At present all children in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 receive a piece of fruit on a daily basis.  This is part of the National Fruit Scheme and is free of charge.