The County Council has been recognised nationally for its outstanding
contribution to schools’ catering across the county.
It picked up the Local Authority Catering Association’s (LACA) top prize last week as Catering Business of the Year 2012.
'Much deserved recognition'
The council’s personnel and performance committee chairman Andy
Stewart said: “This is much-deserved recognition for our school meals
service which has improved performance in so many areas in spite of a
backdrop of increased financial pressures, having to reduce costs by
£1m, a review of how we deliver services to schools, staff reductions
and a freeze on pay and conditions.”
“My personal commitment to parents was that we didn’t increase the
selling price of school meals – they are still just £2 a day. But at the
same time, I was conscious of increasing food prices. This year I’m
glad to see that all these and more targets have been achieved including
an increase in the take-up of school meals across the county.”
Currently 272 of the county’s 285 primary and 30 of the 45 secondary
schools use the Council’s school meals service with meal sales up nearly
nine per cent in 2011/12 on the previous year.
Factors which helped shape the judges’ decision included originality,
an imaginative approach and actively involving the staff in the
successful development of the service and introduction of change.
“We operate in a market where many alternative providers are able to
offer school meals, so our continuing relationship with schools, which
are now academies, is also testament to our success,” added councillor
“Within some of the most deprived wards of the county, the value of
providing a good meal at lunchtime, particularly to those receiving free
school meals, is high on our priority list. I have little doubt that
the success in increasing meal take-ups is now having an impact on our
fundamental improvements in educational attainment.”
Find out more
Find out more about our school meals service.