School Meals

The school’s catering service is provided by Taylor Shaw, caterer of choice for thousands of secondary school students across the UK.

We believe lunch is an integral part of the school day. When students sit down with friends, they cement relationships, enhance social skills, and replenish both their body and mind.

Our menus are exciting, nutritious, and appealing, served in a supportive environment designed to educate students about how they can make healthy choices to support their wellbeing and improve their ability to focus.

Our freshly prepared menus meet the Government’s School Food Standards and meet the bronze Food for Life standards.    

Great Value

Our meal deals include:

  • Main Meal Deal priced from £2.40 - includes up to 3 items  
  • Mini Meal Deal priced at £1.75 – includes 2 items

Healthy Eating Promotion

Good nutritional choices are vital to students’ health, academic achievement, and wider performance at school. Our Healthy Swaps campaign encourages the uptake of healthier items by providing suggestions for more nutritious options that are readily available. 

Theme Days

Keep an eye out for our regular Theme Days and Pop Ups featuring fantastic flavours for students to try including our Taste of Greece, May The Fourth Be With You and Veganuary!

Allergen Management

At Taylor Shaw, all our colleagues are trained and up to date with allergen procedures and will provide accurate allergen information to your child. If your child has allergies, we would ask that they speak to our server for information so that they can be provided with the information they need to make an informed and safe choice.

Eating a School Lunch is Better for Your Child

Did you know only 1% of packed lunches meet the nutritional standards that currently apply to school food?  Five reasons school lunches are better; 

  1. They save time & money
  2. They’re nutritionally better than a packed lunch
  3. They promote a varied diet & encourages new tastes
  4. They support inclusivity, dining with friends
  5. They help academic attainment by being linked to improved concentration



All catering purchases are made using a Cash Free Smartcard (Student Card). This dramatically speeds up payment for food and reduces queuing, therefore increasing the time children have to enjoy their breaks. 

New students will be issued with a Student Card. Our schools are now cashless so students should not bring cash onto the school site.

Putting money on the card 

You can put money onto your child’s account online, through +Pay. All families are added to Parentmail and, once the account is verified, online payments can be made. 

How much? 

It is up to you how much you wish to put on your child’s account. We can also set a daily spending limit on your child’s account. If you wish to set a limit, please contact us on pks-enquiries@parksidecc.org.uk or 01223 712600. 

What happens if a card is lost? 

If a card is lost, misplaced or stolen the cardholder will need to immediately report the loss to the school office. The card will then be disabled and a replacement card issued. The school may charge for this. 

Free School Meals 

Children who are entitled to free school meals can enjoy a main course and dessert or drink. Ideally, the entitlement should be used at lunch time to ensure children are eating a healthy and substantial meal in the middle of the day. We will welcome your support in adopting this approach. Parents may of course put money onto their child’s Student Card should they wish to have an allowance to use for breakfast/break. 

Did you know that just registering your child for Free School Meals means that the school gets extra money? 

The government is giving money to schools to help children from lower income families do their best. The funding is called ‘Pupil Premium’. For every child registered for this, Parkside gets an additional £955 per year to support their progress. 

If you are registered for Free School Meals you could also apply for assistance with the cost of 

  • Music Tuition 
  • School Trips 
  • School Trips Abroad 

Eligibility Criteria 

Your child will get free school meals if you receive any of the following: 

  • Income Support 
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance 
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance 
  • Child Tax Credit - but no element of Working Tax Credit - and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)) that does not exceed £16,190 
  • If you are supported under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit 
  • Working Tax Credit during the four week period immediately after your employment finishes or after you start to work less hours per week 
  • Universal Credit with an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400 (as from 1 April 2018) 

Students can also register for Free School Meals if they get any of these benefits themselves. Come and talk to us at Student Services and pick up an application form or apply online. 

How does it work? 

  • First check the list above to see if you qualify and you can visit the Cambridgeshire County Council Website for more information if needed

  • Apply online via Cambridgeshire County Website here or you can come to Student Services and we will help you apply. Alternatively there is an application form you can use if you prefer. Applying for free school meals online is quick and easy, and no proof of entitlement is needed. On receipt of your application, Cambridgeshire County Council will check for entitlement through a secure Electronic Checking System. All that is needed is the claimant’s National Insurance number, their child’s details and details of their child’s schools. 

  • If you want your child to have a free, healthy meal at lunchtime that’s great – they will get the free meal (save around £400 a year), extra benefits and the school gets £955 extra funding 

  • If you don’t want your child to have the free school meals they continue as normal; as long as you qualify and are registered, the school still gets £955 extra.