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Catering - school meals

Providing around 50,000 meals a day to nursery, infant, junior and secondary aged children, we are the largest education catering provider in Derbyshire.

My School Lunch logo

We are very proud of our service and have achieved the Soil Association Food for Life Catering Mark Silver Accreditation in primary schools and the Bronze Catering Mark in all secondary schools. 

The award means that we use local, seasonal and fresh ingredients which are free from trans fats, harmful additives and are not genetically modified. We only use UK Farm Assured meat which is better for animal welfare, sustainable sources of fish and free range eggs.

All our menus are created using the School Food Standards as set out by the Government therefore adhere to strict nutritional guidelines so you can be assured that your child is receiving a high quality meal.

Our menus are on a three week cycle which changes every six months. New dishes and recipes are trialled by our school catering staff and children before they are added to the new menu. This ensures that children are receiving a variety of meals that reflect the food served at home.

Current Prices (September 2018) 

Primary Meals £2.10 

This includes a main meal, desert and a drink, which is excellent value for money. Most schools offer two choices of main meal or a jacket potato, vegetables, salad, fresh fruit, bread and drinking water are freely available every day. Themed lunches are offered on a monthly basis for primary schools to create a fun eating experience and to build interest in the food offering. See current posters attached to this page.

Secondary Meals £2.40 (meal deal price)

The meal deal price includes a main meal, a desert and a drink, or £2.15 for two courses. Secondary schools operate a café system whereby items can be purchased individually so the total cost of a meal can vary. A selection of hot and cold items are available at breakfast, break and lunch time. Payment is mostly cashless, either by pre-payment card or biometric methods. 

Secondary schools operate a flexible menu template; they are given the option to choose their own menu from a set template created by the menu development officer. Liaison with the school council takes place to ensure the menu will be popular and suit the needs of the students.  

The free school meal allowance for secondary students is £2.40 per day which is automatically credited to their account enabling them to take advantage of the daily meal deal. If the full meal allowance isn’t used up daily, any surplus will be lost it will not roll over to the next day; however it can be can be topped up by parents if required.

Medical Diets

We are happy to cater for medical diets for your child, please ask at school for a form to apply. You will need a medical referral or a letter from his/her GP or paediatric dietitian. Your school cook/caterer will meet with you to discuss your child’s individual needs and a bespoke menu will be created. 

Health, Safety and Hygiene

We have a robust health and safety system in place with risk assessments to protect all our customers and staff, to ensure a safe working environment.

The Food Standards Agency Food Hygiene Ratings are very important to us, almost all of our kitchens hold the five star mark. 

We employ a team of professional trainers who are extremely experienced and highly skilled to deliver nationally recognised training by Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC).

Derbyshire Catering Service has emergency contingency meal provision. If for whatever reason a kitchen has to be closed the food is provided from a neighbouring school ensuring the children always receive a meal. 


We are always looking for School Catering Assistants. No experience necessary as full training will be provided. Please visit our jobs page or tel: 08456 058058.

Contact us

Derbyshire County Council 
Derbyshire Catering Services 
Children’s Services 
Block B 
Chatsworth Hall 
Chesterfield Road 

Tel: 01629 536704