Here at the Seckford Education Trust we believe that healthy eating plays a vital role in the successful education of our students.
We have therefore invested in a high quality catering service that offers healthy, good value meals. Our nutritional standards are in line with national guidelines and we are absolutely committed to promoting an environment which encourages healthy lifestyle choices.
The menus for each school can be accessed at their websites:
At the Seckford Education Trust we believe that healthy eating plays a central role in supporting the attainment, learning and progress of our students. We expect all our students to eat with us for a number of reasons:
- Good food provides students with the ability to concentrate on learning in the classroom, particularly after lunchtime
- A greater appreciation for cultural, fresh and seasonal ingredients
- Learning the enjoyment of dining over a meal
All the schools in the Seckford Education Trust have an extended school day as standard. Eating nutritiously helps keep our students feeling healthy, alert and energised throughout the day. Many studies have shown that hunger affects concentration and that well-nourished children fare better at school. Good food provisions in school have been shown to lead not only to healthier children but to improve attainment. All our food is freshly prepared within the Seckford Foundation under the leadership of our Executive Chef. It is our aim for all students to develop the confidence, knowledge and understanding to make appropriate food choices in their future lives.
In order to ensure that our students have enough fuel to keep them learning during our extended school day, we have three food sittings. Information on the three sittings can be found under the relevant question later on in this FAQ document.
Our schools see our food provision holistically. This means that we don’t just feed our students, but see the opportunities for education about food too. We introduce students to foods they may never have tried and through events such as ‘Kitchens of the Globe’ throughout the year we intend for students to learn the cultural influences on food from around the world.
In our schools, we call what is traditionally known as the ‘school canteen’ or ‘dining hall’, ‘the restaurant’. All our staff are expected to eat with students and it is expected to be a social, dining experience. By eating together, we believe that the relationships between all members of our community will be strengthened and there will be benefits to behaviour, achievement, learning and progress.
Each of our schools provide three healthy eating opportunities throughout the day: breakfast (8-8.30am);
mid-morning breaktime (10.30-10.55am); and lunchtime (12.50-13.55pm). The breakfast and mid-morning
breaktime sittings are both freely available to students. Students who are in receipt of Free School Meals
eat free at lunchtime.
The Chef Managers on each school site are more than happy to have a conversation with any parent / carer
or a student about their dietary needs. We are more than used to dealing with students who are diabetic,
have food requirements related to their religion or are allergic to various foodstuffs. We will ensure that we
are able to offer your child a menu that suits his needs. Vegetarian options are always available.
There is always a wide range of food on offer from which the students can choose. For example, there is
always a salad bar with a variety of cold meats, rolls, plain pasta and often baked potatoes are available too.
There is something to suit every child, every sitting, every day. Should there be a specific issue with this,
then our Chef Managers are very happy to work with parents / carers and students to work through eating
It is not necessary for students to bring in any food or drink. Our schools provide three healthy eating
opportunities throughout the day with a free offer at breakfast and mid-morning breaktime and some items
that can be purchased. Parents / carers can set a limit on how much money they wish their child to spend
in the day if they should so wish and can do so by contacting the School Administration Manager at the
Many parents / carers mistakenly imagine that a packed lunch is the healthiest option. In fact, it is far
easier to get the necessary nutrients into a cooked meal. Only 1% of packed lunches meet the nutritional
standards that currently apply to school food. All of our food is cooked from scratch on the premises using
local produce, free-range eggs and organic meats.
Water is available at every sitting and throughout the day so there is no need for your child to bring in a
We operate a cashless catering system in all our schools via ParentPay. You will be issued with login details
or you can have a top up card if you prefer. ParentPay is automatically charged every day against the
attendance register, so you won’t pay for food if your son / daughter is not at school and you can track
your balance online at any time. We believe that by having a cashless system, as well as students not having
to carry around money, everyone is treated the same when in the restaurant, and any stigma felt by those
students in receipt of Free School Meals is removed. Our meals are priced in line with school meals at
other schools in the county.
Any student entitled to Free School Meals will be provided with a free lunch. Free options are available at breakfast and mid-morning breaktime. For those parents/carers whose children are not entitled to Free School Meals, the Trust does provide subsidies for those who can provide evidence of financial hardship. Simply write to the Trust and provide the relevant evidence to see
whether you qualify.