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Energy Costs - CAT0130/120612
A member authority is seeking information regarding energy cost / re-imbursement to schools in
relation to the production and service of school meals.
1. As a school meal service provider, how do you calculate the energy costs associated with the
production / service in each of the following areas? :
i) The production (cooking) of school meals in a school kitchen
ii) The production (cooking) and service of school meals in a school kitchen
iii) The production (cooking) only of meals for another school
iv) The service of school meals for schools who serve meals only (meals cooked off site in another
2. Do you have a standard calculation / formulae and how is this value calculated?
3. Does the council or the service operator (if different) provide re-imbursement to individual schools
to cover this cost?

Catering - banning packed lunches - CAT0129/290512
A new Academy primary school wishes to ban packed lunches from September for new starters and
progress this on a yearly basis until no pupils bring packed lunches to school. Children will be required to take and pay for school dinners.
Are you aware of a similar policy in any of your local schools?

Staff breaks and meals - CAT0127/300412
A member authority is reviewing the Terms and Conditions for catering staff.

Please could you provide information on the following:
  • Do you give kitchen staff paid or unpaid staff breaks? Reasons for your decision?
  • Do you allow staff a free meal or are staff charged for any purchases they make?

Catering uniforms - risk assessment - CAT0126/300412
A member authority is updating their health and safety advice - they have conflicting advice on sleeve length:
  • Long to prevent burning from fryers and to remove items from steamers
  • Short as long impractical for washing up.
What is your policy on sleeve length?

Kitchen Deep Cleaning - CAT0125
A Midlands based authority is seeking information - can you recommend OR Are you aware of the following:
  • A course for deep cleaning of kitchens?
  • Specialist equipment for filter cleaning

Payment for school meals - CAT0124
A member authority is currently looking at expanding their options for how payment for school meals
can be made. Please can you provide information as follows:
1. What payment options do other local authorities use for school meal payments?
2. Can you describe how these where set up and also where there any difficulties faced which we
need to be aware of?
3. Has there been a noticeable increase in uptake as a result?
4. Do any  other authorities use incentive schemes to encourage taking a school meal e.g. Discount
offered if you pay for a month in advance etc.

Catering Managers - Staff ratios - CAT0123
A member authority is seeking information in regard to Area Catering Managers.
How many individual pieces of business does each Area Catering Manager look after? (business = 1
school or 1 civic catering outlet etc.)
Please supply the average number.

Catering Contracts with Academy schools - CAT0120
A member authority is seeking to agree contract terms for catering with several Academies.
If you have already concluded a contract with an Academy we would be grateful if you could share a
copy of the contract. (minus any commercially sensitive information.

Catering operating return - CAT0119
A member authority is seeking information on the following:

What % operating return do you expect from your Primary school catering account? (operating return is the surplus (or loss) after all costs including food, staffing, overheads, management and central establishment charges have been deducted  divided by total income)

Cashless catering systems and biometrics - CAT0118
A member authority is looking at the use of cashless catering systems:
  • Do you use fingertip technology rather than cards in your schools?
  • How have you found the technology?
  • Have you encountered any problems? Parental concerns?
  • Any other comments?

Retainer Pay - CAT0117
A member authority currently pays school catering staff during term time with a reduced amount by
way of retainer during school holidays. They are evaluating other methods of payment including term
time only.
  • Do you have retainer pay arrangements in place during holidays?
  • Are you looking to change/cease this arrangement in the near future and how?
  • If not , what alternative arrangements do you have?

Online payment and discounts - CAT0116/090112
A member authority is seeking an online payment system for school meals. The system may not necessarily include cashless catering at the checkout. Please could you respond to the following
Payment systems:
  • Do schools without cashless systems in place allow online school meal payment?
  • If so how does this work? Practically how do the caterers know that children have paid?
  • Who provides the online service?

Have you ever, or considering the new legislation do you plan to offer discount to families with more than one child taking school meals?

Productivity, Sandwiches and menus - CAT0114
Member authorities would like to determine the following:
1. Kitchen productivity level (Target hours)
  • What is your target productivity on meals
  • Is productivity set across the authority or at each individual kitchen?
  • If individual what criteria are used?
2. Menus
  • What flexibility, if any do you allow school cooks to set their own menus within the nutritional guidelines?
3. Sandwiches
  • Do you produce a sandwich only service and at what cost/selling price?

Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.




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