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The latest network queries circulated for this service are listed below.

If you would like more information about any of these queries or want to submit a response, please email Vickie Hacking.

Network queries from previous years are available on the links at the bottom of the page.


CAT0224 - Nutritionist/Menu Analyst - 29.05.18

This member authority would be grateful if other authorities could
provide information on staff who are employed to prepare, analyse
and roll out menus in respect of: school meals; early years meals;
and meals served in care homes/day centres. If you could also
please share as part of your response, the job description and
payscales for these employees as well as the number of staff you


CAT0223 - School Meals Special Diets – Central Register -15.05.18

A Member Authority is seeking information in relation to School
Meals Special Diets. In particular the authority would be interested
to receive information on the following:-

  1. Does your LA record special diet pupils on a central register, and if so, what system/application do you use?
  2. Does your LA have any plans to change or develop this process or system?


CAT0222 - Plastics in Catering - 09.05.18

A Member Authority is seeking information in relation to the policies
that other authorities have in place regarding plastics in catering.

The Member Authority are specifically interested in the following:

  1. What general policies does your authority have in place regarding plastics?
  2. Does your authority have any initiatives or processes in place to reduce the amount of plastics used?


CAT0221 - Dinner Money Debt – 27.04.18

A Member Authority are seeking information in relation to dinner
money debt and would like to know the following:

  • Have you as a provider seen an increase in Dinner Money Debt in recent months?
  • If you are not responsible for dinner money collection have you had any notification from schools and Academies of an increase in Dinner Money Debt in the same period?


CAT0220 - Catering SLA/Contract agreements – Loss ofincome due to snow closures - 27.04.18

A Member Authority is seeking information regarding contingency
arrangements written into SLA/agreements with schools for loss of
income due to snow closure.

The Member Authority would like to know if other councils have
arrangements in place and what these arrangements are?


CAT0219 - Impact of Universal Credit on Free School Meals in Wales -12.04.18

A Member Authority is seeking information regarding the impact of
Universal Credit on Free School Meals in Wales. The Authority are
particularly interested in gaining details on the following:-

  1. Since the introduction of Universal Credit – have you identified an increase or decrease in Free School Meal numbers?
  2. What problems – if any – have you encountered since the introduction?


CAT0218 - Reviewing a Schools Traded Services Offer - 19.03.18

A member Authority is currently reviewing their schools traded
services offer and would like to hear from colleagues in other
Authorities who have gone through this process.

They would be very grateful if colleagues within other Authorities
would kindly share supporting documentation, or links to areas on
your websites that will help them structure their schools traded
service in order to provide services and meet their statutory

  • Which services do you offer to schools?
  • Through your service delivery, what key challenges have you faced, which services have generated the greatest demand and business opportunity for the Council?
  • How do the schools access these services and what customer support mechanisms are in place?

Examples of Service Level Agreements for any services, such as
‘back office’ services, i.e., ICT Support, Facilities Management &
Building Support Services, Health & Safety and Educational Visits
Advice, Legal Advice, training courses, the provision of staff,
Governor Support , HR Advice, Payroll or ‘pay as you go’ purchases
would be gratefully appreciated. Information on how the services
you provide are monitored and reported on would also be of benefit.


CAT0217 - Structure of Catering and Cleaning Service - 13.02.18

A Member Authority are interested in gaining information in relation
to how other local authorities have structured their catering and
cleaning services together with pay grades and responsibilities of


CAT0216 - Frontline Cleaning and Catering Staff Training - 25.01.18

This local authority would be grateful if other local authorities could
provide information on the following question:

What are Councils currently doing to train frontline Cleaning and
Catering staff in terms of formal training, including Vocational
Qualifications and BIFM, plus any internal in-house or other external


CAT0215 - Funding for school meals - 17.01.18

A Member Authority has an enquiry regarding funding for school
meals for both this current financial year (2017/18) and from 1st
April 2018 onwards (2018/19). The Member Authority is aware that
funding for Universal Infant free School Meals (UIFSM) is currently
£2.30 per meal, however they are seeking information in relation to
what funding each authority provides for benefits based free school
meals for both primary and secondary pupils please.

Since the change in the national funding formula, the information is
not readily available from the Member Authorities Corporate
Finance Teams, therefore they would be interested to know if other
Local Authorities either:

  1. have the same problem identifying the funding amount per meal ?
  2. can confirm that there is a national funding amount per meal and what it is? or
  3. it is a bespoke amount based on each individual authorities own funding formula, and therefore what that funding amount is?


CAT0214 - School Meals Special Diets - 17.01.18

A Member Authority is seeking information in regarding School
Meals Special diets and would like information in relation to the
questions below. Please answer for your LA if you are an in-house
service, or if the service is outsourced please respond as to what
policy you have agreed with your provider.

  1. For every 1000 meals you serve roughly (round up) how many are what you class as special diet meals? (the Member Authority serves 33,000 meals & 950+ special diets so answer is approx. 30 per 1000)
  2. Do you bespoke individual menus for all special diet requests,(including ethnic or lifestyle diets) or just the 14 EU allergens? ALL/ EU14
  3. Do you insist on receiving medical evidence as to a child’s allergies and intolerances before you serve them schools meals? – this may be in the form of a GP’s letter, hospital or dietician test results Y/N
  4. Do you have a process that once the medical evidence is received the menu is prepared by the caterer and then signed off with the parent, before the menu goes live in school? Y/N
  5. If questions 3&4 are as per your current policy, in the interim period do you feed the child, and what? (e.g. the Member Authority currently would use jacket potato and salad so as not to refuse feeding a child)
  6. Do you have a parent led system for informing you of their child’s medical special diet requirements that does not require medical evidence? Y/N
  7. If you do insist on medical evidence of the child’s allergy have you had any pressure from local GP’s or NHS about the cost/time/resources associated with them providing this to parents, to give to your caterer?

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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