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CAT0171 - Crisps that conform with the nutrition act and Food for Life standards - 271015

This member authority is looking to find alternative crisp products to Walkers Lite crisps that conform with the nutrition act (Nutritional Standards 2007) and Food for Life standards (i.e. without monosodium glutamate). If you could also provide the range of flavours they are available in, this would be helpful.

CAT0170 - Combined Staffing Structures - BC0116/201015

A member authority is seeking to bring together catering and cleaning within a combined management structure. They would be interested in examples from other authorities of the management and staffing structures adopted. Please forward copies of your structure

CAT0169 - Productivity Targets Education Catering - 091015

A member authority is reviewing productivity across its client schools
This authority would like to understand:
•         your services approach to productivity targets (meals served per staff hour) across primary, special and high schools
•         what local factors influence these targets, again across primary, special and high schools
•         share any banding guidance targets you work to within your service  
Meal                           Target                     
Numbers                 Productivity                         Primary            Special               High

CAT0168 - Education Catering - Nutritional Support - 051015

A member authority is looking to create a specific role around nutrition support

  • Do you employ a specialist to look after your nutrition software (e.g. saffron) and input allergen information?
  • Does this person link with dieticians and parents for pupils with allergen intolerances?

 If available, please can you supply a Job Description and Person Specification.

CAT0167 - Kitchen temperatures - 140915

A member authority seeks assistance on temperatures within their school kitchens:

  1. Do you have any agreement in place concerning acceptable temperatures in the school meals kitchens?
  2. If so, would you be willing to provide a copy of your agreement
  3. If you have an informal arrangement, what is the maximum agreed temperature?
  4. If this is exceeded, what actions are taken?

CAT0166 - School Meal Charges & Incentivising Payment Systems - 240715

A member is interested in receiving information regarding school meal charges and any incentivising payment systems which may be in use.  They would be grateful for responses in relation to:

  1. What are the current meal charges for your Primary & Secondary Pupils ?
  2. What are the current meal charges for Primary & Secondary Adult meals?
  3. Are any member Councils incentivising payment systems with discount/Loyalty Schemes ie
  • Giving discounts to families who are buying meals for more than one child?
  • Promotions such as buy X number of meals and get one free or Pay for one Childs Meal get one Free?
  • Any other methodology/Incentive/approach?

CAT0165 - Staffing formulae - School Catering - 220615

A member authority is reviewing the method it uses to allocate staff production hours to meal numbers. Please can you supply details of the method you use:

  • Do you have set productivity (meals per hour)?
  • Is the banded e.g. below 100 meals per day / 100 - 200 meals / etc?
  • How frequently is this reviewed and changes made?

CAT0164 - Additional Support Needs (ASN) Schools lunchtime provision of textured diets (Dysphagia) - 210515

This local authority is currently reviewing how they implement textured diets (Dysphagia).  They would be keen to hear from other member authorities in relation to procedures for lunchtime of textured diets, specifically:-
1.       What procedures do you have in place?
2.       Who preps for the Dysphagia diets, catering staff; ASN assistants: school staff?
3.       Who trains the staff on diet type?
4.       Are all schools under the same procedure, or is it determined school by school?
5.       Is there any difference on how a joint campus implements textured diets and if so what?
6.       Is the menu adapted on an individual school basis?

CAT0163 - Food Cost Deflation/Inflation - 200515

We are seeking data on how food costs have risen or decreased during the past 12  months
Please can you provide examples of how you monitor changes in cost of food ingredients
Are changes due to:

  • Supplier competition?
  • Discounts?
  • International Commodity prices?
  • Seasonaility?

If you keep or receive data on changes in food prices, please can you state the source and provide examples.

Unpaid leave - CAT0161/210415

A member authority operates an unpaid leave policy. This includes 3 days unpaid leave and up to 2 additional days for non-sickness related reasons.

Do you have a similar policy?

How do you coordinate this within catering and cleaning services?

Online free school meal applications – CAT0160/150415

Please can you give details of how parents can apply for free school meals in your authority

Does you Council offer the following:

  • Online process with immediate response
  • Online process with further Council involvement
  • Paper process

How long does the process normally take?

How long before you are informed as caterer?

If you can provide links to the claim webpages that would be helpful

Education Catering Competitor Activity - CAT0159/310315

I’m attempting to create a picture of competitor activity within education catering services.

I will retain the anonymity of responses, but share any overarching findings

Please can you provide information on competitor offering to schools

  • Name of company targeting schools in your Borough
  • What is the headline price per meal?
  • Have they targeted single schools/clusters/ academy chains?
  • Do they offer any inducements, software systems/ financial investment
  • Did the school follow a transparent procurement exercise?  (i.e. was there a tender)
  • Have competitors won business only to later reduce menu options, remove juice, reduce portion size
  • Have any schools terminated the contract early, if so why?

Use of school kitchens for supplying other schools – CAT0158/250315

A member school catering team is using the kitchen facilities at one school to prepare and supply meals by van for other schools that don’t have a kitchen.

They are seeking information on how other authorities charge for this and recompense the school that hosts the production kitchen.

What arrangement do you have to pay the producing school?

  • Payment per meal?
  • Payment for gas/water/electricity?  (estimate or separate meters)
  • Flat agree fee for use of kitchen?
  • Other charges?

What payment is made by the receiving school and to whom?

  • Covered in the meal charge?
  • Separate additional change per meal?
  • Set yearly cost in addition?
  • Other method?

School Meal payment - special schools – CAT0157/200315

A member authority is reviewing the way they charge special schools for school meals

Please can you supply details of the charges you make to the school:

  • Cost per meal to the school
  • Charging formula
  • Does the school pay all costs or is there a subsidy from the authority?

CAT0156 - Secondary School Meal Prices 020115

We are seeking the charges made for a variety of meals to secondary school pupils

Individual responses will remain anonymous, but we will calculate and share the average cost of each item and the price range with all those who respond

Please complete and return the grid below:

Secondary School Meal Option Tariff
Main Meal & Dessert (Meal Deal)  
Main Meal only  
Chicken Wrap  
Pasta with Sauce  
Paste (Plain)  
Cheese portion 2oz  
Jacket Potato plain  
Jacket Fillings per portion  
Soup & Roll  
Baguette (Hot or Cold)  
Filled Wrap  
Salad Bar (Small pot)  
Chips (When served)  
Pizza Slice  
Fresh Fruit (Per piece)  
Fruit Pot  
Hot Pudding  
Home Made Cookie (Average cost)  
Iced Finger  
Tray bake  
Fruit Juice Cuplet  
Fruit Juice (200ml)  


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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