Healthy Eating at Heart of England
School Catering Services
We aim to provide children and young people high quality, enjoyable and creative choices of nutritious food and are working with Schools and Health Partners to improve well being and encourage healthier lifestyles.
School Meal Catering Services
Solihull Council has been whole heartily committed to providing good quality school lunches through its Solihull Catering Services division for the past 20 years. We are very proud to say that all schools are fully equipped with a working production kitchen and all meals are freshly cooked on-site every school day. These standards are amongst the best in England, which shows in the high numbers of pupils and parents choosing to use our service.
Together we constantly look for the best practice and have achieved national recognition over the years, which includes:
- A Charter Mark for the catering service was awarded in 1992 for Excellence in the provision of public services
- ISO 9001:2000 Quality System that shows our cooking and food processes deliver quality meals that children want to enjoy day after day
- The Investor in People Award was achieved in 1995. This reflects the importance we place on our staff
- 2002 and 2003 we won a national training award, which was against stiff competition from the private sector
Aims and Objectives
The Council is committed to providing wherever and whenever required a complete catering service to its customers at the best possible quality standard within the resources available and to protect and enhance the quality of that service whilst minimising its cost to council tax payers and customers.
We will provide on all school days in all primary schools, a two course meal with two choices plus salads at a set price. In secondary schools, a cash cafeteria style service offering a full range of dishes individually priced, including snacks, set traditional meals and salad bars is available every day.
The Council seeks to work with any organisation sharing a common philosophy of view, and committed to meeting joint legal and moral obligations; in order to provide good quality food, well cooked and presented by friendly and efficient staff at a price which gives customer satisfaction and value for money.
The Council seeks to maintain absolute control over the minimum specification of the services required and to veto the employment of any member of the catering staff considered to be unsuitable for employment in the school environment.
The Council seeks to encourage an increased up-take of healthy school meals to promote a healthy lifestyle with pupils, parents and teachers.
The Council is committed to the highest possible hygiene standards and expects the caterer to hold good personnel training and development practices and Health, Safety and Hygiene procedures to maintain the premises in a clean condition.
Secondary School Catering
As well as a fixed-price two course meal, a cafeteria service offers a wide variety of snacks, vegetarian meals and other dishes including salad bars and jacket potatoes.
Vegetarian and healthy choices are available at every school, we do not sell fizzy drinks or chocolate bars, and some schools have decided not to sell chips.
The current price of a two course school meal is £2.00 also all items are individually priced. Most schools operate a cashless system with the use of swipe cards. Cash and cheques can be added to the cards at terminals within the school. Secondary school governing bodies have delegated responsibility for most aspects of their individual catering arrangements.
Free School Meals
Free meals are provided for children whose parents receive either Income Support Jobseeker's Allowance (income-based), support under part V1 of the immigration and Asylum Act 1999 or Child Tax/Pension credit (income related).
Application forms are available from the school or by phoning the School Asset Support Team on 0121 704 6611.
Nutritional Standards for School Lunches
The Government is determined to transform the quality of foods in schools across the country and in March last year the Secretary of State for Education and Skills announced a package of measures designed to significantly improve the quality of all school food . The measures have to be fully complied with by September 2009.
The Council is well on the way to achieving the recommendations set by the Government and will more than likely exceed the standards set.
Officer responsible for policy, commissioning and monitoring of the catering contract is Jayne Long, School Asset Support Team on 0121 704 6627.
Solihull Catering Services
Solihull Catering Services (SCS) was established by Solihull Council as the catering operator to provide a quality service at a price that was great value for money. Every day we serve approximately 15,000 meals across 85 Solihull primary and secondary locations.
SCS is responsible for:
- An efficient and cost effective service which does not compromise on the quality of food, presentation, service and value for money
- The adherence to the Council's and (where better) schools' catering contract policy and specification
- The adherence to certain aspects of Government legislation
- Providing all food, light equipment, materials, high cleaning and services
- Providing and training and managing suitably qualified staff
SCS are constantly reviewing their menus and sourcing foods which are beneficial to a good healthy diet. New menus have been introduced to take on board the new measures required for school lunches. We work hard with our suppliers to make sure all the ingredients are top quality.
The standard service in Solihull is a multi-choice system, involving choices of proteins, carbohydrates and vegetable or salad items. A selection of puddings, fresh fruit, yogurts are readily available.
- Children joining us for lunch will:
- Benefit from eating with others
- Enjoy relaxing with their friends
- Develop tastes for different foods
- Have the confidence to make choices
- Take part in fun initiatives that encourage children to think about diet and lifestyles
For further information about Solihull Catering Services, contact:
Tel: 0121 704 6623