I felt it would be helpful, both for the parents of new students starting at the College in September and as a reminder to existing parents of students at the College, to inform you about our catering arrangements at the College, free school meals and the provision offered by our supplier, North Yorkshire County Caterers.
Should you believe that your child may be eligible for Free School Meals, please refer to the following link for further information: https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/free-school-meals.
Please note that the price at which the government refunds us for each free school meal is £2.25. This allowance is refreshed each day, with no carry forwards of unspent funds being permitted from any day’s allowance. The price of a normal school meal however is £2.50 per day from September, which requires us to subsidise our catering provision to keep the price as low as possible. The difference in the actual cost of a meal and the free school meal allowance means that students claiming free school meals can, if not careful, overspend on their daily allowance which then results in the additional amount being spent being charged to the student’s ParentPay account to be repaid by parents.
Please can you note that we require all parents to keep their son/daughter’s ParentPay accounts topped up with sufficient credit to cover any items that will be taken from the canteen during the week, including amounts taken over the free school meal allowance for those students eligible. To keep costs down, we would recommend that students claiming free school meals only use the canteen at either break or lunchtime. It can also be confusing to students, without being aware of this in advance, that a ‘meal deal’ (a main meal with a desert/piece of fruit/small biscuit) costs £2.50 – our daily school meal price. Due to this, we thought that it would be helpful for you to list some combinations of food items that are available from our canteen which would fall within the free school meal allowance, to help parents and students when making choices about what to take from the canteen. Some options that would fit within the free school meal allowance of £2.25 are as follows:
- Main dinner only @ £2.15 - eg toad in the hole, mashed potato, veg and gravy
- Sandwich code B @ £1.20 + cake @ 60p + small water @ 40p/piece fruit @45p
- Soup with roll @ £1.15 + cake/biscuit @ 60p + fruit @ 45p
- Jacket Potato with beans/coleslaw @ £1.45 or cheese @ £1.80 + small biscuit @ 40p
- Pizza @ £1.15 + cake @ 60p + piece fruit/small water @ 40p
- Sandwich code C @ £1.50 + cake @ 60p.
If students wish to use the canteen at break and lunchtime and still keep within the cost/allowance of £2.25, whilst using the College canteen, they can choose a small pizza at break time for 65p and a code B sandwich at lunchtime for £1.20 plus a small biscuit or piece of fruit for 40p.
May I also please remind you that when students are bringing their own food into College, we operate a nut-free policy due to a number of our students having severe allergic reactions to nuts. We also ask that items students bring into College are healthy, and that no fizzy drinks or energy drinks are brought on site.
We aim to be a cash free environment at the College as far as is possible and therefore use ‘ParentPay’ as our online software enabling parents to pay for school meals and trips electronically. Details about how to log on to the ParentPay system to allow you to top up your son or daughter’s school meal account were sent out to Year 6 parents on 10 June and other parents should already be set up within the system. The ParentPay website is accessible from the following link: http://www.parentpay.com. Your user name will be your personal email address and you will have been given a temporary password by the College in the first instance which you are asked to change when first logging in. If you have any difficulties in accessing the system, please contact the College office, either via the College telephone number or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
May I take this opportunity to wish you all a safe and enjoyable summer holiday.