School Meals

We take our responsibility to encourage our students to eat healthily very seriously.

Eating well at school improves children’s nutrition and health. There is also a direct link between eating well and children’s concentration and behaviour in lessons. Students who eat well are more likely to achieve.

At Jane Austen College, lunch takes place in the Refectory. Our students are able to buy a fresh and nutritious two-course meal, which as far as possible is cooked in our own kitchen using traditional cooking methods. Other lunch options, such as freshly made sandwiches and a salad bar, are also available.

Food is provided by Vertas, a high-quality school caterer, and the menu changes regularly to enhance student choice. Often our food is locally sourced. Our lunch menus fully comply with the Government’s nutrition and food standards.

If students prefer to bring their own packed lunch, then they may of course do so, and can eat their packed lunch in the refectory alongside students choosing a hot meal.

Free school meals

Is my child entitled to free school meals?

Children of families receiving income support, employment support allowance (income-related) or income-based jobseeker's allowance are entitled to receive free school meals.

Families receiving child tax credit but who are not entitled to a working tax credit, and whose annual income (as assessed by the Inland Revenue) does not exceed £16,190, are also entitled, as are those who receive the guarantee element of state pension credit. Those families receiving working tax credit are not entitled to free school meals.

Note: Where a parent is entitled to working tax credit during the four-week period immediately after their employment ceases, or after they start to work less than 16 hours per week, their children are entitled to free school meals.

If you are receiving one of these benefits, please contact the academy to obtain an application form or call using the links below for further advice.

You can also click here for more information and to download an application form

0344 800 8020

Once entitlement has been assessed children can continue to receive free school meals until the family stops receiving a qualifying benefit. Parents are required to inform the authority of any changes and regular checks will be carried out against records held by the Department of Work and Pensions, the Home Office, and HM Revenue & Customs by the free school meals team.