Shropshire primary schools welcome a steady increase in the uptake of school meals
Primary schools across the Shropshire Council area have seen an extra 500 meals being sold compared to this time last year. The quality of the food, exciting promotional menus and enthusiastic staff from the council’s Shire Services team have all contributed to this steady increase in the number of pupils enjoying school meals.
Oakmeadow CE Primary School in Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury is particularly proud of the increase since the beginning of September 2011, when the new school building opened its doors for the start of the academic year. The first week an average of 70 children were taking meals on a daily basis. However, the number of meals sold has risen by around 10 per week to a total of 120 each day by October half term.
Councillor Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for the school meals service, said:
“Shropshire Council is very pleased to see an increase in primary schoolpupils choosing the option of school meals at lunchtime. The health and well-being of our children and young people is very important, and this just confirms that our approach to the way we deliver school meals in Shropshire is working well.
“We are proud that our school meals service provides its meals from traditional kitchens without the use of mass production or re-heating processes, and sources its ingredients as locally as possible.”
The number of children benefitting from free school meals is also increasing – by nearly 1,000 children over the past five years – and the council is encouraging parents to check if they are eligible to register their child.
By registering children for free school meals, they can enjoy a free, healthy meal at lunchtime and their school can gain money from the Government called a ‘pupil premium’.
For every child registered for a free school meal, the school will receive £488. The Government is giving this funding to schools to help children from families with lower incomes to reach their full potential. The council is contacting schools before the school census takes place in January 2012 to help ensure that all parents are aware of the scheme and the benefits it provides.
The school meals service serves around 25,000 meals per day, which includes providing meals to 144 primary schools, 16 secondary schools and three sixth form colleges in Shropshire, a secondary school in Colwyn Bay, two independent schools, as well as 52 schools in Worcestershire.
For more information about Shropshire Council’s school meals service visit the website at shropshire.gov.uk/schoolmeals.nsf
Oakland Primary School and Longmeadow CE Primary and Nursery School merged in September 2009 to form Oakmeadow CE Primary School.