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Is your primary school kitchen open whilst school open to keyworkers?

(19 Posts)
CalmCalmerCalmest Mon 30-Mar-20 14:32:48

Posting for my friend who is the kindest, hardest working person you could wish to meet.

It’s great that schools are open to keyworkers. My friend says teachers and TAs are on a rota to supervise the children each day. They have 6-10 ish children in each day so far.

But my friend who is catering supervisor is being told to go into work to provide school meals. Today she had to prepare 3!

Does this sound like your school?

I’m so worried about her being at risk for the sake of 3 bowls of pasta. She is in her 60s.

Would love to hear what other primaries are doing xx

OP’s posts: |
CrocodileFrock Mon 30-Mar-20 15:50:14

At ours they have kitchen staff preparing packed lunches for children who attend and anyone who is eligible for FSM. The catering is contracted out to a private company though, so I don't know how much of a difference that makes to staffing decisions.

Any other food for the day (toast, cereal, fruit) is prepared by the TAs and teachers.

Makeitgoaway Mon 30-Mar-20 15:54:23

We're a special school with similar numbers of students in. The students are making their own lunches with teachers, as an activity - like they might if they were doing home school. We haven't had any kitchen staff in since last Monday.

Darkrainbow Mon 30-Mar-20 16:00:14

We've been asked to send a packed lunch, no universal FSM provision. (Both NHS staff, using school 1 day per week where we cannot work opposing shifts due to patient safety issues- I have to say it as someone will be along to tell me off for using school)
Means tested FSM are being made at a hub school then delivered to our school for collection by families, I think they're a packed lunch and left outside for families to collect. If they genuinely can't the caretaker is doing contactless delivery.

CalmCalmerCalmest Mon 30-Mar-20 16:00:24

Thanks for replying. She was making packed lunches for free school meal
children last week but that’s finished now as the voucher system is in place.

OP’s posts: |
prickledgherkins Mon 30-Mar-20 16:02:06

No, children have to bring a pack lunch. The school has no cooking facilities.

drspouse Mon 30-Mar-20 16:05:10

My DD is in two days a week and we assumed pack lunch but we sent one and she came home with it telling me "it's hot school dinners mummy".
She's in KS1 so UFSM. I was really surprised but I guess almost all the ones in are vulnerable so they could only give them their food packs to make lunches as an alternative.

CrocodileFrock Mon 30-Mar-20 16:08:53

If the vouchers have been sorted out, it would surely make more sense for children to just bring in a packed lunch?

Cooking meals for 3 children sounds like madness to me, and surely not worth the risk to your friend's health. flowers

Invisimamma Mon 30-Mar-20 16:13:01

Our school is not one that is open to key workers, however, any child can attend between 12pm and 1pm to pick up a packed lunch bag. Not just free schools meals, it is for any child who need it. Every school in the authority is doing the same.

I have been collecting my children's lunches daily whilst out for our walk, as it saves me extra visits to to the super market. Their dad is a nhs worker doing 8-8 shifts, 6 days per week so getting to the shops is tricky. They get a carton of milk, 2 pieces of fruit, yogurt, home baking and a sandwich. I am so grateful for this.

On Friday the dinner lady said she did 9 lunches 😔 from a school of 300 pupils. Is it really worth it? However she said a smaller school 1 mile away did 170 lunches.

nowaitaminute Mon 30-Mar-20 16:17:49

I'm in Ireland where schools don't have kitchens and all schools are completely closed!

CalmCalmerCalmest Mon 30-Mar-20 16:31:47

CrocodileFrock I totally agree and would love to know why her bosses think it’s ok to put her in this situation.

OP’s posts: |
HugoSpritz Mon 30-Mar-20 16:38:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LoisLittsLover Mon 30-Mar-20 16:42:03

At our school it is hot meals only, children cannot take any bags in from home to minimise potential spreading of germs

LittleRa Mon 30-Mar-20 16:42:45

Our school and other schools in the area (primary) have closed their kitchens, all food has been removed and donated where possible and appliances deep cleaned. Catering staff have been redeployed to hub kitchens (usually nearby high school) to prepare packed lunches for children entitled to free school meals. The catering staff are employed by the local authority, not by the school directly. The key worker children who are in school (so far a maximum of 8 and minimum of 3 per day) have breakfast made by the teachers in on the rota that day (toast, cereal, fruit) and a packed lunch when they arrive from the hub kitchen.

CalmCalmerCalmest Mon 30-Mar-20 17:19:39

Interesting mix of replies. Thank you

OP’s posts: |
RamblingFar Mon 30-Mar-20 17:57:00

Ours is open as our kitchen staff didn't want to be redeployed.

milkysmum Mon 30-Mar-20 18:20:20

My friend is a school cook. She along with two other cooks are having to go in still, last week they catered on average for 4 children a day!!

Vagndidit Mon 30-Mar-20 21:03:13

Yes. Our kitchen usually runs with a staff of 4, a head chef and three assistants. Chef sent the other three home on the first day last week and is doing things on his own. We've had a range of 7-18 pupils on any given day, half of which get school dinners, plus a couple staff.

CouldBeOuting Wed 01-Apr-20 11:25:52

One of the reasons for schools to stay open for vulnerable children was to ensure they got a decent meal. We use outside caterers so now our vulnerable children are getting a roll (no butter) with cheese (no other choices) and some carrot sticks. Only water to drink. Milk deliveries have stopped.

Families on free school meals (not the universal free meals) are being posted supermarket vouchers every two weeks. These are valid for three branches of a specific supermarket on our area.

Our cook wanted to offer other fillings and/or jacket potatoes with fillings but it is an outside caterer and they’ve said it’s not cost effective.

I don’t know yet hat will happen about the meals on the bank holidays ... we have been told we have to go in but obviously the catering company may have other ideas, they certainly haven’t responded to our email telling them the school is to remain open....

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