St Mary's Catholic College, Wallasey

St Mary's Catholic College
A Voluntary Aided Academy

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Catering Provision and Free School Meals

St Mary's Catholic College Wallasey

Dear Parents and Carers

Re: St Mary’s Catering Provision and Free School Meals

Harrisons Catering

You have probably heard from your son/daughter that since September we have been trialling different lunchtime catering arrangements and the use of a different provider, Harrisons Catering. One of the significant differences is that Harrisons employ a Chef Manager who leads the cooking in the kitchen area. Our Chef Manager was previously employed as a Chef in Thornton Hall.

Following an evaluation of this provision, governors have taken the decision to employ Harrisons as our catering provider going forward. Governors have sought assurances regarding the quality, breadth, affordability, healthy choices and availability of the food on offer. As part of this contract we will see significant investment into the canteen area in order to increase the breadth of the offer available to our students.

Is my child eligible for Free School Meals?

Whilst writing to update you about the catering provision I thought I would remind you about how students are able to access free school meals in schools.

Eligibility criteria

Parents or guardians are entitled to get free school meals or milk for their children if they receive any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Guaranteed Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit with a total annual taxable income of less than £16,190 and are not receiving Working Tax Credit
  • income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • have successfully obtained asylum status

I have included the link to the relevant page on the Wirral LA website below:

Can I encourage you to apply if you think you are eligible.

Are children receiving Free School Meals identifiable by other students?

The cashless system we operate in College means that students who receive Free School Meals are not identifiable as each child receives a daily cash credit to his/her account to spend in the canteen. There are hot and cold meal deals available each day which enable eligible students to purchase a hot meal or cold main e.g sandwich/wrap, desert and drink but students are also able to buy other individual items up to the value of the meal deal.

How do I know how/if my child is spending their money in the canteen?

As the system is electronic, it is possible to see how your child is spending their money in the canteen. Occasionally we find that students are not spending their money and in the case of students on Free School Meals any credit added for that day that has not been used at the end of the day is removed. We do not refund cash to students to spend elsewhere.

We remain committed to providing a broad, high quality, healthy and reasonably priced offer to our students and welcome feedback from parents where you feel that this offer can be improved. 

Yours faithfully


Mr A Boyle                                      Mr T Quinn

Headteacher                                   Executive Head Teacher



Wallasey Village, Wallasey, Wirral, CH45 3LN
T: 0151 639 7531 F: 0151 201 4514
Headteacher: Mr. A. Boyle BSc. (Hons)