Improving the School catering provision to increase the uptake of school meals


Belper School is a thriving establishment which has benefitted from major new build works that has increased the school capacity from an original 500 students to today’s 1500 students.   The foreseeable future (5 years) is that role numbers will not significantly decline.   Our last OFSTED inspection 2006 concluded that the school was Good with some elements of excellent.

Formulating the Question

The school capacity to provide midday school meals has not increased significantly from when the school was built in 1970 although we now have 1000 more students.. Indeed the dining area itself has not been improved since that time and is a lacking in both natural daylight and modern decoration.   Data collected from the LA (appendix 4) clearly shows that Belper School falls well short of the average School meal take up.

Child obesity, Eating healthily, and the important part that schools can play in forming and developing students attitudes to diet has been the subject of many recent case studies that focus directly on the schools contribution to student health.

‘Deincourt, a mixed secondary school situated in North Wingfield, on the outskirts of Chesterfield, sits within an economically disadvantaged area, where student attainment on entry is well below the national average. Concerned about the student population at her school with 32.4% free school meal uptake, and 24% on the Special Needs Register (both above the national average) Catering Manager Linda Lunn decided to approach Head teacher Alun Pelleschi to discuss ways in which they could change the lifestyle of the students’.
Peter Mc Grath, Derbyshire County Council

This case study from and others referenced in the bibliography identify that the school has a major part to play in encouraging healthy eating with innovative menu’s, and that the dining experience is of major importance to the uptake...