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No hot school dinners at lunchtime. Can I influence this? Where to start?

(8 Posts)
AllTheGoodNamesTaken Mon 03-Oct-11 10:03:38

This is a small rural-ish primary with about 65 pupils. We're only 3 miles from a big town with loads of other primaries and secondaries. I don't think the school has a large kitchen on site (although there is a kitchen of sorts as the school does a cookery club). There are local pubs, but not within walking distance.

I've heard of schools getting local pubs to make the meals and then bring them in. I've heard of catering providers that deliver hot meals. How can I get the school to consider hot meal provision? Who do I have to talk to? Where do I start?

It's a right faff making 2 packed lunches every day, and over the 12 year span that my children attend primary, that's 20 minutes x 190 school days x 12.

That's 45600 minutes... or 760 hours ... just over a MONTH OF MY LIFE shock making sodding sandwiches and cutting up fruit.


seeker Mon 03-Oct-11 10:09:28

Your first port of call is the Head and the Chair of Governors, but I would be surprised if a pub could do dinners for a price that parents could/would pay. Might benworth seeing if there's a partner school that might supply them. We supply meals to 3 other schools from our kitchen.

BTW- delegate making lunches to older child ASAP. Don't get them used to cut up fruit. If it's taking more than 5 minute a lunchbox you're being too fancy!

redskyatnight Mon 03-Oct-11 10:18:22

It takes you 20 minutes to make a packed lunch!!! (vaguely thinks back to this morning and remembers selecting items from cupboard and throwing into lunch box randomnly).

In our area there's a company that delivers to all the local schools so might be worth seeing what other schools nearby do. You'd proably also have to prove some sort of demand (take up is very low in our school as most parents are watching their pennies and would rather do packed lunch).

chopchopbusybusy Mon 03-Oct-11 10:18:25

20 minutes a day? Really? DDs first and middle schools had no provision for hot lunch when they were there. I believe they do now but it's prepared a couple of hundred miles away and transported there. Yumm.

IndigoBell Mon 03-Oct-11 10:38:01

I would assume the HT and GB have already looked into it, and not been able to find a financially viable provider.

Of those 65 kids probably very few want school dinners. So you just won't be able to find someone to provide 5 or 10 school dinners for under £2 a head.

What % of kids are actually on free school meals?

My old school had 210 children, and didn't have enough people wanting them to be able to do it.

AllTheGoodNamesTaken Mon 03-Oct-11 11:18:57

I don't know if any are on FSM. I think it will be a small percentage (scratches head....but you never know who is and who isn't, which is a good thing.)

Twenty minutes to clean out yesterdays contents, wash the boxes, dry the boxes, rinse and refill the water bottles, make two sandwiches, cut up two lots of fruit. That's about as long as it takes me. I could skip some of that by sending stuff in disposable packaging, but I'd rather use reusable stuff.

I'd love to delegate making lunches to my 5yo but he's not yet very coordinated with a knife. In a year or two, perhaps he'll manage better.

probablyveryunreasonable Mon 03-Oct-11 11:21:25

Our primary is of a similar size and the lunches are provided by he local secondary school. However, they are a bit dearer than the other local primaris at £2.50 instead of £2.

joencaitlinsmum Mon 03-Oct-11 12:34:13


I work in a small school 62 on role and we have Steamplicity meals

However we do have to sign up to a meal contract through our local borough council, I would be surprised if your schools local borough hadnt offered the school a "school dinner provider" but maybe it was'nt a option in the schools budget as the school have to pay to use the provider as the local borough then subsidises the price of the school meals in return.

Best to ask the head first why they provide a hot dinner option (its not a legal requirement btw) then if you are not happy take it to the school govenors.


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