School dinner arrangements(16 Posts)
Is this the norm? My son has just started reception and we were given info on school dinner arrangements. We have to give two weeks notice if we want our child to have a dinner! We also have to have a dinner ALL week or just Friday. So we cannot go in on the day and say my child's having a Pl/SD [cofused]. What does your school do? Do I have the right to have two dinners a week if I choose???
I decide in the morning and DD either takes a packed lunch or dinner money and ticks her name off on the dinner list.
it'll be cos they're brought in
we had the same as ds1's last schooll. was run by a company called chartwell, the school just reheated them.
you had to order 2 weeks in advance so they knew how many meals to bring.
we were, however, allowed to choose what days we had them
My ds's school and my school are the same - dinner OR sandwiches all week (no Friday option) and two weeks' notice if we want to change.
We have to pay on a Monday or the first day off the week and notify all days. The children then order their choice on the day. We have a 3 week rolling menu and they are cooked on the premises.
Not necessarily thisisyesterday - we have to give 2 weeks notice, and all food is prepared on site.
We also can only change from dinners to packed lunches at the beginning of each half term. And it's all or nothing - no packed lunch on 2 days, dinners on the others for us!
We can decide in the day, but the school prefer it if you stick to a pattern (SD every Friday, or on Thursday and Friday, for example).
But it's a large school where the food is cooked on the premises. For small schools I can see chopping and changing may cause problems.
DD1's school insists on deciding at the start of the term and sticking with it all the way through. No option to switch from week to week at all
At ds's primary we can choose each day whether to have a packed lunch or school meal. Food is cooked on site and to order, depending on that morning's lunch register numbers. I think it's a great system.
In infant school I work at the children decide on the day. We do it as part of the register - the children select either packed lunch or school dinner (meat or veggie). f they want Halal this has to be preordered via the office and must be taken whenever their is a Halal option on the menu. School dinners are supposed to be paid for in advance but often they get paid at a later date or on the day.
At my dds' school we are requested to decide at the beginning of each half term, to stick with either packed lunch or school lunch for the entire half term.
This is fair enough imo. (and they do make exceptions if there was a request made).
The meals aren't bought in, but I imagine that with this arrangement this is less wastage overall.
If the school cook/coordinator only knows on a day to day basis, then I imagine this isn't easy with ordering in supplies, stock control etc. From one day to another it may mean doing a few meals one day, then several hundred another day!
DD has been to two junior schools, and both needed to be told on Monday what they would have each day that week. One had 200 kids on average having dinners each day, the other an average of 40 and both had everything prepped on site
At DS1's school, he can choose every morning - the choice is packed lunch, hot meal, jacket potato or sandwich-bar type thing (like those you get at service stations where they can pick 5 things).
I love the fact that he can have a variety all week - particularly as he is quite fussy so there aren't that many hot meals in the 3-week rotation that he will eat but at least the rest of his meals can be switched between jacket spud, packed lunch or sandwich bar. If we had your system, he would never have a hot meal as I couldn't commit to a full week as he would only eat about twice a week!!
The children tell the teacher when they are doing the register each morning and presumably this goes back to the kitchen.
My son's school ate also flexible with lunchtime arrangements. He can take packed lunch one day & decide on hot meal the next. Which is lucky as he's forgotten his sandwiches a few times!
All hot meals cooked on site
We have to give 2 weeks notice to switch from one to the other. I can't imagine for one moment that you have any right to have 2 days one and 3 days another, but if the days you want SDs are always the same you could go talk to them about it as it wouldn't mess up their planning that way?
When I heard how dd's school does it I was so impressed - how civilised I thought.
DD decides each morning if she wants one of the lunch choices or if she wants a packed lunch, then in school they sort it all out at registration and then the secretary phones it in (presumably to the school that has the kitchen then it's driven the 10 minutes to our school).
I've no idea how the company works out how many of each to buy for but presumably they collect the stats and have a rough idea of how each dish will go (there were a few teething problems at the start of this latest menu I think). Its a three week menu and that lasts about six months. Edwards and Ward they're called. DD doesn't like everything, but tbh we wouldn't want her having a full-on pudding every day!
I pay online as well, and they send me text messages when the balance is running low. I think its brilliant - entirely different from my school lunch experience!
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