The Review of the School Meals Business Plan by neolledivine


									                Children and Young People’s Service                                E
                        Schools (Funding) Forum

Date: 11th June 2009

School Food Support Service

Report on:- The Review of the School Meals Business Plan

1. Introduction

The purpose of this report is to update Schools (Funding) Forum on the
results of the first year of the business plan, following the transfer of the
school meals service from Eden Food Services to the L. A. The report
concentrates on the following areas:

      Meal uptake.

      Food and labour costs.

      Initiatives to increase uptake.
      The requirement to meet Nutritional Standards.

2. Recommendations

It is recommended that the next progress report should be presented to
Schools (Funding) Forum at the end of year two (2009/10).

3. Background

 The school meals at 239 schools transferred over to the L. A. on 2nd May
 2008 and are now provided and managed by the School Food Support

      The change to the service included the TUPE transfer of 750 members
       of staff from Eden Food Services.

      The setting up of systems both financial and personnel.

      The provision of new menus and recipes which were all tested prior to

      The setting up of food supply contracts which included the use of two
       local suppliers for fruit and vegetables and one local supplier for beef.
4. Meal Uptake Targets

On the transfer of the service the average uptake of school meals was 28%.
The target is to reach 48% uptake. The business plan has included an
average increase of 14% year on year from Year Two (2009-10) on the
expectation that the service will reach break even by year five.

      From 2nd May 08 to the end of the financial year the actual uptake in
       primary schools has increased by 14.4% which is particularly
       encouraging as the business plan did not allow for an increase during
       the first transitional year.

      However, in secondary schools there was a considerable dip of 21% in
       comparison to budgeted figures. This is likely to be because the
       original budget was not reflecting actual figures as the information for
       secondary school income was held by Eden Food Services.

      Hospitality and break sales have provided an income of £118,800 for
       the first year (income which had not been included in the original
       budget as it was an unknown figure).

      Overall the average uptake of meals has increased by 8%, taking into
       account all primary and secondary meals and the hospitality income
       which has been converted to whole meal equivalents.

5. Food Costs

Since the food cost budget was set there has been a huge national increase
in food costs

      The food costs for the year have increased by 16.8% over the original

      This has been mitigated to some extent by the increase in uptake of
       meals and by freezing staff recruitment

      The remainder has been taken from the School Lunch Grant which
       comes to the L.A. via the standards fund.

      Food costs now seem to be levelling out. This will, however, continue
       to be a critical issue in future years.
6. Labour Costs

The labour costs for the service are currently running to budget and it is not
anticipated that this should give cause for concern in the future.

7. Price Increase

The original business plan included for a price increase of 10p per meal in
Year Two (2009-10). However, the release of the School Lunch Grant has
assisted in keeping the cost of the meal down.

        As a consequence the budget for this year 2009-10 includes an
         inflationary increase of 5p per meal. Historically when the selling price
         has increased by 10p it has had a detrimental effect on the uptake of

        It is considered that the loss of the extra 5p per meal will be offset by
         increasing uptake, coupled with the 8% increase already achieved
         during 2008-9.

8. Five Year Plan

The five year plan detailed below has been reviewed taking into account the
first year’s trading figures.

                         Budget            Actual                              Budget

                                  Year 1                Year 2        Year 3            Year 4       Year 5
                            £                 £           £             £                 £            £
 Employees               4,861,000         4,651,024   5,282,800     5,487,400      5,656,500       5,821,100
 Indirect Employee Exp      92,000           45,336       86,400        85,800            85,300       84,800
 Premises Related          392,800          359,574      402,000       411,400           420,900      430,800
 Transport Related         785,000          785,169      778,400       797,900           817,800      838,300
 Supplies and Services   3,250,900         3,368,958   3,382,600     3,808,900      4,220,400       4,800,500
 Total Expenditure       9,381,700         9,210,061   9,932,200    10,591,400     11,200,900      11,975,500
 Total Income            -9,179,640    -9,011,849      -9,725,088   -10,379,111    -10,983,304     -11,752,464

 Net Budget                202,060          198,212      207,112       212,289           217,596      223,036
9. End of First Year

The service transfer following a bank holiday weekend was seamless and the
remainder of the year has continued to be a success.

      Training sessions continue for all staff. The latest sessions have been
       an introduction to the Health and Safety Policy which included an
       overview of individual responsibilities and generic risk assessments.

      Training on the procedure for carrying out PDR’s has been provided to
       all management staff. PDR’s have now been completed for all 750

      The service is linking in with School Food Trust partners to provide
       NVQ training in practical cooking skills for operational staff. This is a
       part of their personal development but also importantly to ensure they
       have the necessary skills to produce and present the food to the
       required standard.

      A second newsletter and menu has been produced and sent out to all
       primary school parents to inform them of the new menu and the
       continued development of local food supply. The second senior
       newsletter and menu is available at individual schools.

10. Ongoing Initiatives

The following initiatives have proved to be extremely popular and have
assisted with the increase of uptake of meals.

      Tasting sessions continue to be held at both primary and secondary
       schools at the end of school and during parents’ evenings, which give
       parents an opportunity to see the quality of the food and, more
       importantly, taste it.

      Consultation with school councils on menus has resulted in some of
       their favourites being incorporated onto the new menu.

      Continued development of the hospitality menus to gain additional

      Theme days that link with the school curriculum have proved to be
       extremely popular and have a huge effect on uptake. The service plan
       includes a target to provide two theme days per school per term.
       Monitoring of uptake following the events can show increases of over
       50% uptake on that particular day.
      The service plan also includes a marketing strategy which focuses on
       rewards for purchasing meals and increasing uptake. The strategy
       concentrates on involving all stakeholders particularly Headteachers as
       their support is crucial to increasing uptake.

      A working group concentrating on secondary school requirements is in
       the process of developing a strategy to increase meal uptake.

11. Nutritional Standards

The Nutrient Standards for primary schools came into force from 1 st
September 2008. All of our new menus and recipes have been analysed and
now comply with the Nutrient Standards.

      The Nutrient Standards come into force for secondary schools from
       September 2009. It is anticipated that all menus and recipes will
       comply as of that date.

12. Conclusion

It should be appreciated that while some of the budget heads are showing an
increase and some a downturn the bottom line is showing that the service has
come in as budgeted. As all of the budgets were put together with limited
knowledge of actual trading figures this could be considered as quite an

Feedback from children and young people and other stakeholders suggests
that the quality of the meals have vastly improved.

Overall, a successful year. There are, however, continued challenges in terms
of increasing meal uptake particularly within the current economic climate

Author: Wendy Philp – Head of Service

Contact: Tel. 0116 3055770
E Mail

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