School meals

Schools, education and learning


School mealsWelcome to Waltham Forest Catering school meals page, where you can find useful information for schools and families. School meals are a great way to ensure your child is eating a nutritious and well-balanced meal during the school day. 

To deliver the best service Waltham Forest Catering will constantly monitor our provision and adapt to individual school requirements.

Please speak directly to your child’s school for explicit advice.

Lunch menu: Food on offer will be dependent on canteen space following government social distancing guidelines.

Full day pupil attendance: Hot meal or a packed lunch available for all pupils.

Half day pupil attendance: Pupils entitled to benefit related Free School Meals (FSM) will be in general offered either packed lunch, supermarket voucher or weekly food hamper but at school discretion.

Dining facilities: Dining room or classroom at school discretion.

Payment: School meal free of charge only if pupil entitled to FSM.

All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 in state-funded schools in England are 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
  • 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 Click to get info

The Government introduced new School Food Standards in January 2015. Waltham Forest Catering school meals fully meet these standards. Find out about the School food standards.

What's on the menu? Click to get info

We ensure there is an excellent, wide variety of tasty school lunches throughout the week, including vegetarian 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, with seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables and freshly baked bread.

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

Waltham Forest Catering provide school lunches to the following Waltham Forest primary schools:
Ainslie Wood Infants and Juniors, Barn Croft Infants and Juniors, Chapel End Infants and Early years centre, Chapel End Juniors, Chase Lane Primary School, Coppermill Primary, Downsell Primary, Edinburgh Primary, Emmanuel School, Ferry Lane Primary School, Dawlish Primary School, George Tomlinson Primary School, Greenleaf Primary School, Gwyn Jones Primary School, Handsworth Primary School, Hawkswood School, Henry Maynard Infants, Henry Maynard Juniors, Holy Family Wiseman House, Jenny Hammond Primary School, Joseph Clarke Special School, Longshaw Primary School, Newport Primary and Children Centre, Oak Hill Primary School, Our Lady and St George’s (lower), Our Lady & St George’s (upper), Parkside Primary School, Riverley Primary and Children Centre, Roger Ascham Primary School, Selwyn Primary School, South Grove Primary School, St Joseph RC Infants, St Joseph RC Juniors, St Marys RC Primary School, Stoneydown Primary School, Thorpe Hall Primary School, Whitefield School, Whitehall Primary School, Whittingham Primary School, Willow Brook, Winns Primary School, Woodford Green Primary School, Yardley Primary School

Secondary schools

Waltham Forest Catering provides school lunches to:

  • Connaught School for Girls
  • Frederick Bremmer School
  • George Mitchell Secondary Phase School
  • Holy Family Catholic School
  • Heathcote School and Science College
  • Leytonstone School
  • Norlington School for Boys
  • Willowfields Secondary

Our Secondary 2 week school menu is bespoke for each school.

Menu allergen information Click to get info

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 autumn to winter 2018-19 primary menu allergen information:

Week Three

  • (65KB PDF)
  •  (65KB PDF)
  •  (60KB PDF).

Download the example autumn to winter 2018-19 secondary menu allergen information:

Waltham Forest Catering has been awarded the soil association Gold catering mark for its primary and special school meals, the Silver Catering Mark for its secondary school meals, the Good Egg Award and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody (sustainable seafood) 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. 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
  • The majority of 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. Our organic flour is from FWP Matthews in the Cotswolds

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

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 Click to get info

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

For further information about meal costs and ways to pay, please contact your child's school.

Free school meals are school lunches which are provided each school day to eligible pupils at 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 more funds for your child's education.

Try these recipes at home Click to get info

School meals can help children to eat 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.

Change4Life Click to get info

Waltham Forest Council supports Change4Life. 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  for more information.

The Change4Life Pack (1.3MB PDF file) has been designed by NHS Waltham Forest as part of the Change4Life programme. 

Our awards Click to get info

Information about our awards can be found on our Waltham Forest Catering website

More information Click to get info

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

If you don't have access to a computer, you can visit a Library Plus branch where you can use a self-service pc to log your request/report.  Staff are available to support you if you need it.​​​​​​​

Contact Click to get info

Waltham Forest Catering Service
Families Directorate
Room 203,
313 Billet Road,
Walthamstow, E17 5PX.
020 8508 0611