Friday, 29 November 2013

Ready for free school meals for all infants? Support is on offer from the Children’s Food Trust

With the government’s free school meals for infants plan gathering pace, we are delighted to welcome the Children’s Food Trust’s Jayne Greatorex to the PKL Blog, to discuss what the introduction of free school meals for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will mean for primary schools, and ways in which the Trust can help schools prepare for any changes to their current catering and dining operations.

Jayne writes:

Jayne Greatorex of the Children's Food Trust
The Children's Food Trust's
Jayne Greatorex
If you’re based in an infant school, have you been thinking about how you’ll get ready to offer free school meals to all pupils next September?

At the Children’s Food Trust, we’ve spent years helping schools on kitchen and dining issues.  If you think you’ll need help to get ready for offering free school meals for infants, contact us for advice.

This policy’s a big change so we’ve pulled together our top tips to help your school get started on preparations.

Things to consider include making sure you know your numbers, and how an increase in ‘bums on seats’ will affect your catering team and your existing infrastructure. 

If you already offer school meals, you might want to gather some feedback from pupils who currently use the service to find out what’s good and what can be improved in your current offer. This will help you make the most of what you’re doing well, and to resolve any issues before next September.

You might also want to think about how you will communicate with parents, who will be keen to hear more about how your school is preparing and what it will mean for their child.

If you’re looking for help, our Learning Network is the national hub for learning and debate around all things to do with children's food, including e-learning courses which you can complete at a time and place which suits you, webcasts on topical issues around children’s food and a forum to share ideas and best practice.

The Learning Network is here to help schools, caterers, local authorities, early years settings and the public health sector, and is relevant for head teachers, school business managers, catering staff, school cooks, nursery staff, child-minders, public health professionals, Local Authority staff and many more.

As an early Christmas present, we’re offering you £25 off Learning Network membership, if you book before the end of term (20 December 2013). Just click on this link to register for free and browse the site. To become a full member, you’ll need to purchase a membership and don’t forget to quote ‘PKL’ for your Christmas discount voucher when going to the checkout.

More Information

If you need any support please do not hesitate to contact us at info@childrensfoodtrust.org.uk and one of our expert advisors will call you back.

Free School Meals for Infants

For more information about free school meals in primary schools, Jayne provides an overview here in this short video from the Children’s Food Trust’s Learning Network. Click here to view the webcast.
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