I am aware that there have been a number of comments in recent days on Facebook over the updated school meals service. I am writing to politely request that if you have any comments at all about the quality of the school meals, positive or negative, will you please let us know and we can work with our provider to help to improve the service further.
Last term the school we re-wrote the specification and the contract for the school meals service. This is in order to improve the quality and value of the meals provided and the quality of the experience for the children; we are trying to increase the uptake of cooked meals which we believe are good for the children. Our aim is to provide as many children as possible with a tasty, fresh healthy meal; the more meals we can serve, then the less the service actually costs the school, and the more we can spend on teaching and learning.
The provider Orian is a new private company. They are providing us with a fresher, home cooked service with as much locally sourced food as possible. Fiona our cook has been working really hard with her team to deliver the new menus, and they have made a number of significant improvements. Our contractor now provides freshly cooked bread, new crockery (rather than a flight tray) and a free choice from a new salad trolley each day in addition to the children’s meal. They are also providing milk, juice or a smoothie on a regular basis.
As a result I can assure all parents that without any question the meals are now of better value and a higher quality than in recent times.
We do have a new menu and we know that this will need to evolve as we respond to the children’s tastes and we are eager to do this. It is obvious that some of the new dishes on the menu have not been popular with a number of children. Now that the first three weeks of the menu are complete we are surveying the pupils about their strong likes and dislikes and we will broaden this out to ask all parents for their feedback and support in making this new service even better. We will also be holding the next School Food Group meeting on Wednesday 22 May at 6pm, to which all parents are welcome; we will be reviewing the menu and the service at the meeting.
If you have any concerns I urge you to let us know directly, help us to work together with Fiona and the kitchen team, and we will welcome your support and feedback.
Mr M Pincombe