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School meals

Last updated 20 April 2015

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.

Waltham Forest Catering's school lunch bunch ensure that our excellent quality, tasty school lunches, on average, provide one third of a child’s daily nutritional needs.

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!

School Food Standards

The Government introduced new mandatory School Food Standards from January 2015. The main difference is that they are food-based only. These standards are intended to help children develop healthy eating habits and ensure that they get the energy and nutrition they need across the whole school day. Waltham Forest Catering school meal menus fully meet these standards.

You can find everything you need to know about the revised School Food Standards by visiting:

Remember, school meals are a great way to be sure your child is eating a healthy and well-balanced meal during the day, so don't miss out and apply now.

What's on the menu?

Waltham Forest Catering ensure 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 (serviced by Waltham Forest Catering)

Waltham Forest Catering provide school lunches to all of the 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, Chingford Hall Primary, Whittingham Primary, Acacia Nursery, Church Hill Nursery and Low Hall Nursery.

Download the Silver Standard primary Summer term special/primary menu 2015 (2MB Word File)

Secondary schools (serviced by Waltham Forest Catering)

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

Download the Bronze Standard secondary school Summer Term 2015 menu Week 1 (46KB xls File) Week 2 (47KB xls File) and Week 3 (47KB xls File)

EU Regulation requires food businesses to provide allergen information for non-prepackaged foods from 13 December 2014. Allergen information about dishes on our school menus is available on our website 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 Summer Term 2015 Primary Menu Allergen Information for Week 1 (102KB xls file), Week 2 (143KB xls file), Week 3 (142KB xls file).

Download the Summer Term Secondary Menu Allergen Information for Week 1 (135KB xls File), Week 2 (138KB xls File) and Week 3 (140KB xlsFile)

School meals newsletter

Download the Summer Term 2015 Newsletter (1MB PDF 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. In excess of 90% of all dishes on our menu are freshly prepared each day from raw produce, significantly exceeding the FFL criteria requirements of 75%, reflecting the hard work and dedication of the team to providing children in the borough with freshly cooked, nutritious meals.
  • Only free range eggs are used, exceeding the FFL award requirement that eggs are from cage-free hens. We purchase British free-range eggs.
  • Seasonal fruit and vegetables are used. We purchase British, local produce where possible e.g. currently our potatoes come from Cambridgeshire and our cabbage, cauliflower, onions and apples come from Kent. We also buy organic carrots from Produce World, Yaxley, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire  
  • All meat is farm assured; satisfying UK welfare standards and traceable back to the farm.
  • All fish on our menu is from certified sustainable sources displaying the MSC logo. See our policy on the use of sustainable fish below.
  • We use organic yoghurts from a family-owned company in Somerset, Yeo Valley Family Farms
  • We use organic milk when served as part of a dessert.  Our organic milk is from cows farmed in the UK
  • Meals contain no undesirable food additives, hydrogenated fats or GM ingredients.
  • All our school cooks make and bake fresh bread daily to serve with meals. Organic flour is used when making our homemade bread, cakes, pastries and pizza bases. Our supplier of organic flour is from the Cotswolds, FWP Matthews  
  • Our catering staff are well trained to prepare and serve nutritious school meals to your children

So when your child has school meals, you can be assured that your child really is getting excellent 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' by the Marine Conservation Society:
  • Improving the rest: Working to improve the sourcing of our other products 

Reference links:

Value for money

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

For *£2.20 or less in some schools 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. Please discuss arrangements with your school office. Many children will qualify for free school meals, (please see below).

*Price may vary in some schools depending on school policy. Please check the school meal price at your school office.

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.

Free school meals are now administrated by the Benefits Service, making it simpler to apply.

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

By applying for free school meals, even if your child is in the infants, your school will gain additional funds for your child's education if you meet the current eligibility criteria.

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.

Some of these documents are in PDF format. To view them you may need to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Contact us

If you would like to write to us then please use the address below:

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.


Meal prices

We provide varied balanced nutritious meals to pupils and school staff. For £2.20 or less in some schools, you can get a tasty two course meal.

This price reflects value for money, and compares favourably with prices charged in other boroughs for school meals.

Your child may also qualify for free school meals.

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