School meals

A school meal or school lunch is a meal provided to students  at a school, typically in the middle of the school day.

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Free school meals

Free school meals are available to pupils in receipt of, or whose parents are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods, and your monthly average income over three assessment periods should be no more than £616.67)
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.

Your child might also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:

Infant free school meals

Your child will be able to get free school meals if they are in:

  • reception class
  • year 1
  • year 2

This includes academies, free schools, pupil referral units and alternative provision as well as maintained schools.

You do not need to apply for free school meals if your child meets the above criteria.  However, if you are on a low income you should still apply so that your child’s school can claim the Pupil Premium. This is extra money paid direct to schools for each child who is eligible for free school meals, due to the household being on a low income. It is used to support your child’s education.

If you wish to apply for free school meals for your child see the website below.

Apply for free school meals 

Cost of school meals

All infant pupils are offered lunches free of charge.

The price of school meals for the 2019/20 academic year will be:

  • primary school pupils and special school primary-aged pupils £2.30
  • special school secondary-aged pupils £2.50

For schools that serve fruit or toast, the prices will remain at 25p and 10p per portion respectively.

Further information about school meals

Launch of the new Saffron portal in schools

Integra, which is the trading arm of South Gloucestershire Council, are excited to launch Saffron: a customer facing web page that displays real time nutritional and allergen information across all our primary school menus. 

Users will be able to easily access menu information, with the ability to filter dishes by allergens, dietary requirements or nutritional values, giving schools and parents/guardians complete transparency. Because the portal is linked directly to the Saffron database, any changes to ingredients or recipes are instantly updated to the user, ensuring information shown is consistent, accurate and verifiable. This means parents/guardians can easily browse menus to make informed and safe decisions about the food they choose for their child, confident in the knowledge that any choices made are better informed in advance.

If you have any queries about Saffron please contact the kitchen manager at your child’s school.

Local produce

We provide local produce whenever available in our school meals, which helps support the local community and also cuts down on food miles. Our food is free from additives like aspartame and MSG (monosodium glutamate) and we use a range of organic ingredients, supporting a system which works with nature. We also try to design all of our menus to make the best use of seasonal ingredients.

We have achieved ‘Food for Life served here’ silver award, an independently accredited award by the Food for Life  organization which provides evidence of our passion to serve fresh high quality, locally sourced produce and always ensure that your school menu will adhere to these standards..

Our menus also follow government guidelines.  These are school food standards set by the government.  Our guidelines have also been reviewed by the Soil Association. They have acknowledged that we use ‘Red Tractor’ meat, organic eggs and that all our fish is MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) accredited.

Tasting sessions

We provide ‘tasting sessions’ for parents and carers at schools, giving you the opportunity to try different dishes from our menu and answer any of your questions.  We also invite the senior citizens of the local community into lunch with primary school students. For more details contact your child’s school. 

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