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School meals

Last updated 5 January 2016

Welcome to Waltham Forest Catering Silver Catering Mark Standard school meals page

School meals are a great way to be sure your child is eating a nutritious and well-balanced meal during the school day.

View the School Meal Strategy (224KB PDF file) and the School Meals Strategy Action Plan 2011-2014 (25KB PDF file)

Free school meals for all Infants

From September 2014, all children in reception, year 1 and year 2 in state-funded schools in England will be eligible for free school meals.

This includes infant pupils in maintained infant and primary schools, free schools, academies, schools for pupils with special educational needs and pupil referral units. This could save you up to £400 per year per child!

See our free school meals page for more information and how to apply

School food standards

The Government introduced new School Food Standards in January 2015. They aim to help children develop healthy eating habits and ensure that they get the nutrition they need across the whole school day. Waltham Forest Catering's meals fully meet these standards.

Find out about the school food standards.

What's on the menu?

We ensure that there is an excellent, wide variety of tasty school lunches every day of the week, including Caribbean, Asian, Mediterranean, vegetarian and traditional dishes, so there is sure to be something for everyone's taste.

Our lunches consist of a main course and dessert made fresh on the premises each day, freshly baked bread and seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables.

Enjoy unlimited vegetables and salad items as part of the main meal. Helping children to get their 5-a-day!

Primary schools

Waltham Forest Catering provide school lunches to all of Waltham Forest's primary schools except Mission Grove Primary, Hillyfield Primary Academy, Buxton School (Primary phase), St Patricks RC Primary, Davies Lane Primary, Mayville Primary, The Woodside & Annexe, Acacia Nursery, Church Hill Nursery and Low Hall Nursery.

Download the Silver Standard primary Spring term special/primary menu 2016 (2MB Word File)

Download the School Meals Newsletter (1MB PDF document)

Secondary schools

Waltham Forest Catering provides school lunches to Connaught Girls, Leytonstone, George Mitchell, Norlington Boys and Willowfield Schools.

Download an example of our Bronze Standard secondary school Spring term 2016 menu for week 1 (2MB Excel file) week 2 (2MB Excel file) and week 3 (2MB Excel file)

EU regulation requires food businesses to provide allergen information for non-prepackaged foods. Allergen information about dishes on our school menus is available to download and also at the school. If your child has a medically diagnosed allergy, please notify your school so your child's requirements can be discussed with the catering manager and provided where possible.

Download the Spring term 2016 primary menu allergen Information for week 1 (650KB Excel file), week 2 (650KB Excel file), week 3 (650KB Excel file).

Download the Spring term 2016 secondary menu allergen Information for week 1 (135KB Excel file), week 2 (138KB Excel file) and week 3 (140KB Excel file)

Eat and enjoy our school meals with confidence

Have you ever wondered where we get our food produce from? Producing good food starts with ensuring we have good purchasing policies providing seasonal and locally sourced produce wherever possible; helping to support a sustainable food supply system.

Waltham Forest Catering has been awarded the Food for Life (FFL) Silver Catering Mark for its primary and special school meals, the Bronze Catering Mark for its secondary school meals, the Good Egg Award and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody (sustainable seafood). Our MSC Chain of Custody number is MSC-C-50678.

What does this mean for your child having school meals?

  • We take pride in our fresh cook policy. Over 90% of the dishes on our menu are freshly prepared each day from raw produce
  • We only use British free-range eggs
  • Seasonal fruit and vegetables are used. We use British, local produce where possible
  • All our meat is farm assured; satisfying UK welfare standards and is traceable back to the farm that supplied it. We use organic beef and organic halal (HFA) lamb
  • In January 2015, we added organic beef and organic halal (HFA) lamb to our carefully selected range of fresh meat. Our organic beef is sourced from a collection of organic farms in the UK and our organic halal lamb comes from Rhug Estate Organic Farm in Wales
  • All our fish is from certified sustainable sources displaying the MSC logo
  • We use organic yoghurts from Yeo Valley Family Farms and organic milk when it's served as part of a dessert
  • Meals contain no undesirable food additives, or hydrogenated fats or GM ingredients
  • All our cooks make and bake fresh bread daily to serve with meals. Organic flour is used when making our bread, cakes, pastries and pizza bases

So when your child has school meals, you can be assured that your child really is getting quality as well as great value meals.

Waltham Forest Catering Sustainable Fish Policy

We are committed to ensuring a sustainable future for our oceans and have signed the Sustainable Fish City pledge to serve only sustainable fish around the following principles:

  • Avoid the worst: We have removed endangered species - those rated as 'fish to avoid' by the Marine Conservation Society
  • Promoting the best: Wherever possible we serve MSC-certified fish and those rated 'fish to eat'
  • Improving the rest: Working to improve the sourcing of our other products

Value for money

School lunches offer great variety, great taste, and great value, as well as being healthy and nutritious.

For around £2.20 you can get a tasty two course meal. You can pay for your school meals in the way that is most convenient for you – weekly, by term, or half-term. Your child's school can tell you about meal costs and ways to pay.

Do you qualify for free school meals?

Free school meals are school lunches which are provided each school day to eligible pupils for no charge.

For information on whether your child is eligible and how to apply visit the free school meals page.

By applying for free school meals your school will also gain additional funds for your child's education.

Try these recipes at home

School meals can take care of children eating well at school, but what about at home?

If you are finding it tough to introduce healthy eating at home, try making these simple recipes for your family. These healthy, tasty and nutritious recipes are an example of what can be found on our school meal menu.


Waltham Forest Council supports Change4Life. In order to maintain a healthy weight we need to both eat better and move more. Many families are making changes that will help them live healthier and longer lives.

Eating nutritious school meals every day will help your child achieve a healthy eating habit for the future. Visit the NHS Change4life website or call 0300 123 4567 for more information.

Change4Life Pack

The Change4Life Pack (1.3MB PDF file) has been designed by NHS Waltham Forest as part of the Change4Life programme. It aims to help parents with advice and support to get our kids moving more and eating better. For more information contact the community dieticians on 020 8430 8096.

Contact us

Waltham Forest Catering Service
Families Directorate
Parkside Centre
Rowan Room
Peel Close
Chingford E4 6XQ
Tel 020 8496 3000

About Waltham Forest Catering

Waltham Forest Catering is the council's in-house school meals provider and is the largest provider of school meals in Waltham Forest. We produce approximately 12,000 meals a day to 55 school sites.

Our highly qualified and experienced team of managers, cooks and catering assistants work together to ensure that our meals meet the highest standards and that a high quality service is provided.

At Waltham Forest Catering we recognise the link between the food children eat and their behaviour and performance. We aim to ensure that children are provided with meals made with fresh, high quality ingredients, which they enjoy eating.

We are committed to healthy eating and do this by providing a balanced choice of meals daily. Our menu planning takes careful consideration of current nutritional advice, popular dishes, the diversity of our community and the availability of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables.

Our School Meals Strategy, supports our aim to encourage more children and young people to choose healthy school meals and increase the number of them benefiting from having a tasty and nutritious school lunch.

Why not visit us?

Why not visit your child's school dining room (by prior arrangement with the school) so you can see for yourself the quality of the meals provided.

To book a school meal, please see your school office or for more information, please contact our catering manager.

We look forward to seeing you.

Our awards

The Team's hard work to provide high quality, ethical and sustainable meals has been recognised and lead to it being awarded the following:

  • Food for Life Silver and Bronze Catering Mark
  • Good Egg Award
  • Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody

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Contact details

  • Waltham Forest Catering Service

    Parkside Centre Rowan Room Peel Close
    E4 6XQ
    Phone: 020 8496 3000