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Our school meals are changing!

Our school meals are changing

Over the last few months, our catering team have been working on a project to review the food we provide during the school day at our secondary academies to ensure we’re offering excellence when it comes to keeping our students well-nourished and ready to learn.

The team have worked in collaboration with students and kitchen staff to ensure our new offer is sustainable, healthy, inclusive – and delicious!

And it’s not just our food which is changing – we’ve looked at the impact we’re having on the environment and made some big changes to cut down on plastic waste and become much more sustainable.

We’re really excited to introduce our new menus from September 2023- and hope you and your child / children are too.


What’s happening?

  • We’re changing our school meals, with new menus and the opportunity for students to influence the choices on offer
  • Students at our secondary academies will be able to buy one meal deal and one snack, for £3 per day
  • We will still offer free breakfasts for all students and free fresh fruit will still be available at break and lunch times
  • We will no longer sell drinks in school, instead we have installed hydration stations and will ask students to bring reusable water bottles

Why are we making these changes?

  • Following feedback from students, we recognised a need to improve the food available in school, to offer fresh, tasty, varied, healthy, nutritious and balanced meals with snacks and drinks to compliment this offer
  • We estimate that across all of Archway Learning Trust’s academies, we were using in the region of one million plastic bottles per year which were sold to students. We will no longer sell plastic bottles and will become much more sustainable in our approach to catering

What are the benefits of making these changes?

  • School meals will be more appealing for your child / children with an improved variety of dishes on menus, an improved sandwich offer and more choice at break time
  • The food on offer will promote a healthy, balanced diet for your child / children
  • Our environmental impact will be greatly improved with reduced plastic waste, the introduction of reusable cutlery and crockery, more sustainable sourcing of ingredients and food waste being sent for composting

 Frequently Asked Questions

When will these changes take place?

The changes will be implemented from September 2023

How much will the new offer cost?

Breakfast remains free for all students, breaktime snacks will cost £0.60 (one item from a changing selection of savoury and fruit-based snacks) and lunch will be £2.40 for a meal deal containing a balance savoury meal and dessert option from a set menu

What if my child has an intolerance or other dietary requirement?

Our new menus are inclusive. There will be something for everybody, taking into consideration special dietary requirements including intolerances, vegetarianism, veganism and faith-based restrictions

How often will the menus change?

The 3-week menu cycle will change twice per year, Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter

How many choices of food will be on the menu each day?

There will be at least 14 choices of food across the school day

Why can my child only buy one item at break and the meal deal at lunchtime?

To promote a healthy, balanced diet. Also, to support students and families with budgeting, they will only be able to spend the maximum of £3.00 per school day

What if my child is still hungry after their breaktime snack or lunch?

Free fresh fruit will be available at these service times at the main counters

Where can my child get a drink from?

We have invested significantly in new hydration stations and there are hydration points at all main dining counters

Are students having an input into the new catering offer?

Yes, students have given us feedback and we will be asking for further input from parents / carers and student council groups at the end of the Autumn term

Do I need to do anything?

Please remind your child / children to bring a refillable water bottle to school every day, make sure they have their swipe card (or fingerprint registered) to pay for their food, and to take care of the crockery and cutlery.


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