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School Meals

Catering at The King’s Academy

A good lunchtime diet helps young people to concentrate well in lessons, aiding learning, and can contribute to a healthy lifestyle.  Students sitting down to eat lunch together develop their social skills and in addition, having school lunch as opposed to a packed lunch helps young people develop confidence to make appropriate menu choices and taste a range of different foods.

At The King’s Academy, our in-house catering team are passionate about food and committed to prioritising our students’ health and well-being.  We are fanatical about finding the freshest and tastiest ingredients and combining them to create delicious, healthy meals.  The meals we provide are an excellent source of nutrition, with an emphasis on homemade, high quality fresh food, sourced locally where possible.

There are two restaurants at the Academy – “Green Pastures” and “Still Waters” – and two sittings for lunch in each.  Years 7, 8 and 9 take their lunch from 12.10 to 1pm.  Lunchtime for Years 10 and 11 is from 1.10 to 2pm.  Sixth formers are able to access the restaurants in either sitting.  Year 11 and Sixth form students also have access to the restaurant at morning break, when a range of healthy and filling snacks is available for them to purchase to keep them fuelled until lunchtime.

TH01052014-ESF-KingsAcademy-29 v2We are proud of the choice and variety of meals which are available to students and staff every lunchtime.  Our menus operate on a four weekly rotation (please see below for current menus), with three hot main courses being available each day, including one vegetarian choice, together with lighter options such as salads, pasta pots, hot and cold sandwiches, jacket potatoes and home-made soups.  Fruit, yoghurts, home bakes and hot puddings are available to follow.  Healthy fruit drinks, milkshakes and bottled water can be purchased and fresh drinking water is always available to drink.

All our menu choices comply with the requirements of the School Food Regulations. In addition, students are guided towards healthy choices through the following measures:

  • If two drinks are purchased, one has to be water or milk, helping to control sugar intake;
  • Students are not allowed to buy a hot pudding/ home bake or cake unless they are having a healthy lunch e.g. meal in the restaurant or packed lunch, to discourage students from surviving on sugary snacks;
  • Chips are only available for purchase once each week.

Weekly Menus

Breakfast Menu

Medical dietary requirements

Our Catering Manager is always delighted to work with students and their parents in order to ensure that disclosed medical dietary needs can be met.  Where students have special dietary requirements they can be highlighted and entered confidentially into the till system, so students with special dietary needs are known to staff and purchases restricted to suitable items.  An allergen matrix is in place for all menu items.  Other measures include weekly or daily menu consultations and items being made to order.


A two course meal costs £2.40 a day and a range of attractive meal deals are available for various choice combinations.  Please see our current tariff below.  Our meals service is run on a not for profit basis.

Price List and Meals Deals


In line with most other schools, we operate a cashless meal system to avoid singling out students who receive free school meals.  Every student has a meal account and their own finger scan ID (or PIN code), which is secure and private.  Money must be credited to the student’s account using ParentPay before any purchases can be made.  No meal deduction will be made in a child’s absence.  Students are only able to purchase food and drinks which they will consume – they are unable to buy items for other students.

School MealsYour child’s meals account balance can be viewed in your Parentpay account.  Your child is also able to check the balance on the account for themselves at fingerprint readers near to the upstairs and downstairs restaurants.  Please ensure that your child’s meals account always has sufficient funds available to be drawn upon.  Most parents find it helpful for budgeting purposes to top up their child’s meals account by adding £12.50 at the start of each week (enough for a two course meal each day).  However, we recognise that amidst the busyness of family life, payments can occasionally be forgotten.  If that does happen, we arrange an emergency overnight overdraft on the account which ensures your child is fed from a restricted choice menu (soup and a roll, sandwich or pasta pot), the value of which is automatically deducted from the account once funds have been topped up.

At lunchtime, the till operator uses a touch screen terminal, which displays a photo image of each child and records the meal they have chosen that day.  Students’ meal details are recorded, which allows parents the facility to monitor their child’s eating habits in their ParentPay account, should they wish.

Free Schools Meals

Parents who receive certain benefits are eligible to apply for free school meals for their child.  Some of the Academy’s funding is based upon the number of students in school who are in receipt of free school meals, so we encourage all parents who believe they may be eligible for support to make an application.

Where students qualify for free school meals a £2.40 daily allowance is credited to their account automatically at lunchtime each day.  Extra monies can be added to top up the free meal allowance, via Parentpay.  FSM allowances are not carried forward from day to day and cannot be used for any other purpose; any unspent parents monies will be carried forward.


If you receive any of the following support, you are eligible to apply for free school meals for your child:

  1. Income Support
  2. Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  3. Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  4. Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  5. The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  6. Child Tax Credit (as long as you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190 as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs)
  7. Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  8. Universal Credit

How to claim Free School Meals

You can claim free school meals for your child by making an application to the local authority where the child is resident.  For Middlesbrough students this means:

What happens next

Once your claim has been assessed, a letter will be sent to inform you of the outcome. If you qualify, the local authority will notify the Academy. 

Change in circumstances

It’s your responsibility to contact the free school meals office if your circumstances change, for example, if you no longer receive one of the qualifying benefits, you’ve moved house, or your child moves to a different school.


If you have any queries please contact a member of our team, as follows:

For queries about our menus, pricing, meals account purchases, dietary needs, compliments and suggestions for improvement, please contact our Catering Manager Mrs Jones using (marked for attention of Mrs Jones and clearly stating the name of your child and her or his tutor group).

For queries about meals account top ups using ParentPay and free school meals please contact our finance office on 01642 577 577 option 4 or via (clearly stating the name of your child and her or his tutor group).