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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:


  • Have the same problem identifying the funding amount per meal ?
  • Can confirm that there is a national funding amount per meal and what it is? or
  • 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?


CAT0213 - DBS charges for Catering and Cleaning Staff - 13.12.17

A Member Authority are seeking information in relation to whether
other Councils require cleaning and catering applicants to pay for
their DBS clearance.

If so, the Member Authority would like to know if this has a
significant impact on the number of applicants applying for jobs ?


CAT0212 - Sponsorship for School Crossing Patrol - 16.11.17

A member authority has proposed to cease the School Crossing
Patrols service as from August 2018. However it has been proposed
that they seek external sponsorship from local businesses and
would be interested to know if other authorities has proposed the
same, in particular:.

  • Have you proposed to cease School Crossing Patrol service in the last few years due to financial pressures, if yes, what was the outcome.
  • Has your Authority sought external funding from sponsor's? If so how did you go about it and what was the outcome?


CAT0211 - Viable options to provide free school meal to every school child - 27.09.17

A Member Authority is currently looking at viable options to provide
free school meals to every school child within its boundary. The
Authority is interested to hear from other Local Authorities who have
undertaken initiatives such as this and how they have implemented
this policy.

The Member Authority is specifically interested in gain details of the

  1. Have other Local Authorities undertaken initiatives such as this ?
  2. How was the policy implemented ?

The Member Authority is also seeking details in relation to Local
Authorities that have used the following data to assess the viability :-
(i) through the registration of pupils attending school for the
first time
(ii) and any subsequent application for free school meals via
the social benefit route.

The Member Authority would also be interested in receiving
information from any Local Authority that synchronises data for free
school meals with Pupil Premium funding.


CAT0210 - Price Increases - 25.07.17

A Member Authority is seeking information in relation to price
increases and would like to know if any other authorities have been
advised of price increases from their dry goods & grocery suppliers,
if so what reasons have been given for these rises and what is the
percentage increase?

The Member Authority would also like to know if other authorities
would be happy to divulge who their suppliers are?


CAT0209 - Secondary School Pupils - 25.07.17

This local authority would be grateful if other local authorities could
provide information on the following Question regarding Secondary
School Pupils:

  1. Do you have a policy of keeping Secondary school pupils on site during lunch time. If so can you provide a copy of the policy or any further relevant information?


CAT0208 - School Food - 21.07.17

This local authority would be grateful if other local authorities could
provide information on the following Question regarding School
Food :-

  1. Do you operate a cook then freeze method for school meals?
  2. Particularly within any central production units.
  3. What methods are used for thawing food?
  4. Any further information on this subject would be greatly appreciated


CAT0207 - Secondary School Lunch Time Loyalty Schemes - 21.07.17

A Member Authority is seeking information in relation to Secondary
School Lunch Time Loyalty Schemes. In particular the Member
Authority would like details on the following:-

  • Does your LA catering service offer any form of lunch time loyalty scheme for pupils?
  • If yes, what format does the scheme take on?
  • Has your loyalty scheme encountered any issues or concerns and if so what?


CAT0206 - Food Safety - 18.07.17

This local authority would be grateful if other local authorities could
provide information on the following Food Safety Questions:-

  • Have you received any enquiries regarding the size of grapes being served in primary schools?
  • Do you serve grapes to primary school children?
  • If not, why not?
  • If you serve grapes, what procedures/information do you give to your catering staff in the preparation of grapes?
  • Have you carried out a Risk Assessment on Grape Safety?



CAT0205 - School Catering - Chicken produce - 27.06.17

This local authority would be grateful if other member authorities
could provide information in relation to the following chicken
produce questions:-

  1. Do you use raw or cooked chicken for school meals?
  2. If you use cooked frozen chicken, is it from Thailand or is it British?
  3. Do you have any plans to change your current chicken product?


CAT0204 - Meal portions for P1-3 and P4-7 - 19.06.17

A member authority would like to ask others:

  1. Do you serve the same sized meal portions to P1-3’s and P4-7’s?
  2. If not, is there a different meal price for each group?


CAT0203 - Health and Nutrition job descriptions - 08.06.17

This APSE member authority is asking members if they would be
willing to share a job description, person spec and advert around a
Health and Nutrition Post re School Food or similar, and

  1. How many weeks per year is the post holder employed?
  2. What is the current rate of pay for this post?


CAT0202 - Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ) / NVQ training for catering staff - 06.06.17

A Member Authority is seeking further information regarding training
for catering staff. The authority would like to know:-

  1. Does your Local Authority provide SVQ, NVQ (or similar) training for catering staff?
  2. If so, which qualification(s) do catering staff work towards?
  3. Is the training provided by an external agency, local college, or is it delivered in-house by the Catering Service; or in-house by the Learning & Development team?
  4. If in-house, is the assessment and verification levels done by existing staff? Is this part of their existing role, or is it a specialist role?
  5. Do you ask Catering Managers to be Assessors or Verifiers, and if so do you pay them extra for this?
  6. Do you provide SVQ/NVQ training to Modern Apprentices in catering, and is this offered in the same way? Which qualification do they achieve?
  7. Do you have any other information in relation to SVQs for Catering Staff that you could share?


CAT0201 - Kitchen audits - 15.05.17

1. Who in your local authority carries out kitchen audits?
2. What is the frequency of the audits for:-
      a. Production Kitchens
      b. Dining Centres or equivalent
3. What is the average duration of:-
      a. Secondary school kitchen audits


CAT0199 - Cleaning of kitchen grease filters - 07.04.17

This APSE member is considering undertaking the cleaning of
kitchen grease filters, not ducting, in-house and would ask if any
member Authority that already carries out this work, would consider
sharing information on work methods, risk assessment and cleaning
products used ?


CAT0198 - Review of Catering Services as part of commissioning review process - 20.03.17

A member Authority is analysing its Catering Services as part of a
commissioning review process, and would welcome responses from
Authorities which have recently implemented changes to catering by
way of service re-design, incremental changes, alternative delivery
models or commercial opportunities.


CAT0197 - School Meals Survey to Pupils, Parents and Staff - 20.03.17

Have any local authorities recently issued a school meal survey to
pupils, parents and staff? If so how was this done, and by which
research company (if applicable). We would also greatly appreciate
it surveys could be shared within the responses.


CAT0196 - Meals on Wheels – use of volunteers alongside staff/employees - 15.02.17

A member authority is enquiring whether any Meals on Wheels
services use volunteers to provide the service alongside their

  • If anyone does utilise volunteers and how has using volunteers come about?
  • How are the volunteers utilised, e.g. in the kitchen, for deliveries or both?
  • Are there been any limitations?
  • What issues have been encountered?
  • Are there any examples of best practice you can share?


CAT0195 - Withdrawal of contract caterers from schools -15.02.17

A member authority is querying if any authorities have experienced
a contractor giving notice of termination of a school catering
contract prior to the scheduled end date?

  • If so what was the reason cited for the early termination ?
  • And what did the authority do in response ?


CAT0194 - Breakfast Club Provision - 01.02.17

This local authority would like to know if other authorities provide a
breakfast service in Primary and Secondary schools?
If Yes:-

  1. What type of items are on offer?
  2. Are they individually priced or set priced?
  3. Are they subsidised?
  4. Are they staffed by the Catering team or Education staff?
  5. If Education then who pays for the labour costs?

If no:-

  1. What other services are available to pupils?



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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