Reforming our school dinners

(9 Posts)
RedJeans Thu 14-May-15 18:27:08

I am writing to ask if anyone has any experience with changing school dinners at their school. I've become more and more concerned and frustrated with the awful quality of the lunches the kids are getting at our small primary and feel like something needs to be done but don't really know how to go about it!

The kids are regularly given 2/3 carbs in one meal with no veg at all (e.g. combinations of sausage rolls, pasta without any sauce, boiled potatoes, chips, bread etc.) there is always a veg option but they don't have to choose any and lots of them don't. They also have the option of ice-cream, jelly or cake every day for pudding, and lots of them only eat that pretty much! The food itself often doesn't taste of anything or is burnt, the kids say it is gross and staff who have tried it agree.

Obviously the first step is to talk to the head, but he likes people coming to him with solutions/ideas rather than complaints, and as I have no idea I was wondering if anyone here did! I've had a very quick google to see if there are any schemes or programmes that we could buy into but thought here would be a better place to ask!

TIA flowers

LineRunner Thu 14-May-15 18:29:47

Is the school tied into a contract?

RedJeans Thu 14-May-15 18:38:07

Ahhh I'm not sure I'm afraid! Maybe I need to get more info... I know that the current cook is apparently much worse than her predecessor at using the ingredients available to make nice food (according to other staff) I'm quite new so not sure of the system in place. Another reason why I'm a bit cautious of getting involved!

LineRunner Thu 14-May-15 18:44:33

I think you need to find out what the contractual arrangements are with the provider of the food / meals, who employs the cook etc.

It should all be in the minutes of the Governing Body Meetings if you don't want to ask directly (although I would ask, personally, one of the other teachers who is also a Governor - why not show an interest?)

Often simply changing the provider, or taking it in-house, helps.

Maidupmum Thu 14-May-15 20:17:24

I'm a HT and have just got out of a dreadful catering contract and signed up with a fantastic buying group. PM me if you want advice

WombatStewForTea Thu 14-May-15 20:34:28

Ours are set by the council and until recently everyone was happy. They changed them at start of the year and we've had endless complaints! To be fair they aren't as nice as they used to be. There's a big push on quorn and the kids can no longer choose a sandwich or jacket potato as they're only available on certain days.
The cynic in me thinks it's linked to free infant hot dinners and it's been designed to save money through ingredients and actually turning the kids off having a hot dinner. At the start of the year 90% of infants took up the hot dinner now we must be down to 50%!

TheReluctantBride Thu 14-May-15 20:56:46

In my last post When our contract with the dreadful council catering we employed a chef. The food was outstanding. Because it was outstanding the staff all started eating it (tripling the profits) and he started doing little take aways for staff so for example of it was lasagne he'd make a sell whole lasagnes for staff to buy and take home to their families. I imagine his budget was super tight but improving the quality of the food had to be the first step to improving student uptake. Once they were eating it (more importantly buying it) he had money to play with.

RedJeans Sat 16-May-15 11:07:35

Thank you for all your replies! Seems like the best route is to encourage a change of caterers!

Jennifersrabbit Sat 16-May-15 11:23:59

I'm a governor and our school has either the bronze or silver Food For Life award.

www.foodforlife.org.uk/school-awards

I think the catering contract is mediated by the LEA but might be wrong. School meals are pretty decent with lots of veg etc.

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