All posts by honeybeecopy

Exciting April News

We have had an exciting year so far at Education Catering Support Services and it’s set to get even better.


A secondary school in Lincolnshire has awarded us the contract to restructure their provision and redevelop their service.


We will also be supporting the building and setting up of eight new primary school kitchens in Lincolnshire.


With support from Education Catering Support Services, an academy in Lincoln were successful in their CIF bid for a brand new kitchen.


A Leicestershire academy were also successful in their CIF bids for new kitchen equipment.


It is our passion to build thriving relationships and catering operations. We look forward to continuing that in 2015.

Follow our blog to stay up-to-date with new business developments and the latest in education catering.


New School Food Standards

In June 2014, Education Secretary Michael Gove launched a brand new set of food standards for schools. They became mandatory in all state managed schools as of January 2015. The work to create these standards was led by Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health at Oxford University.

The changes come with a fresh approach to how menus are put together and follows extensive trials and research. 90% of school cooks who participated in the trials said that these new standards were easier to implement.

Between 2006 and 2009, a previous set of standards were introduced and whilst they went some way to making improvements, they did not allow cooks much in the way of creativity. They involved use of a complex computer system and proved, in some cases, expensive to enforce.

In terms of nutrition, cooks have praised the new school food standards for allowing them to deliver the expected levels of nutrients and energy that growing children require.

These new school food standards go some way to helping cooks create school meals that engage with children and educate them on the sort of nutrition that they are expected to consume.

What do the new standards include? 

  • One or more portions of vegetables or salad as an accompaniment every day
  • At least 3 different fruits, and 3 different vegetables each week
  • An emphasis on wholegrain foods in place of refined carbohydrates
  • An emphasis on making water the drink of choice
  • No more than 2 portions a week of food that has been deep fried, batter coated, or breadcrumb coated
  • No more than 2 portions of food which include pastry each week

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said “If you speak to heads, teachers and cooks about the school meals they provide, they want to be given a little bit more freedom to make their own choices.”

Further changes in legislation also state that milk must be offered to all pupils in state schools. The low-fat milk which is the equivalent of semi-skimmed milk is to made available to all primary and secondary school pupils. Children in receipt of free school meals do not have to pay.

Here at Education Catering Support Services, we are partnering with schools to ensure that they are meeting these new standards. To ensure that your school is adhering to the latest school food standards, contact Karen to discuss your requirements.

January Update

January has been an exciting month for Education Catering Support Services. We are experiencing national interest in the service from establishments in Leicestershire, Walsall, Birmingham, Lincolnshire, Rugby and Worcestershire.

An Exciting New Development 

This month, due to our input, we have supported a client to secure funding to build a number of new kitchens. Our involvement in the building of these new kitchens will include meeting suppliers and finalising specifications and quotes. We will be project managers – working ‘on-the-ground’; developing menus, setting new budgets for the schools, recruiting new members of staff and writing job descriptions. Alongside our project management duties, we will be marketing the brand new services to parents at the schools, with the aid of seminars, menu taster sessions and printed literature to take away with them, so that they have the fullest and best understanding of what is going on. The new kitchens are due to be opened in September 2015.

A Happy Customer 

We have seen a huge improvement in our dinners since the start of the spring
term. The new ordering website is up and running and seems a lot more user
friendly, it still needs some tweeks but we are working with the team to ensure
Our uptake in general has improved and once communicated with parents they
have all said how much better the ordering system is. 

Business Manager, Lincolnshire school

For support with the development of your catering service, please contact Karen

Choosing Education Catering Support Services

Happy New Year. 2014 was a busy and exciting year for us, meeting and working with new clients and seeing fantastic results. If you’re new to Education Catering Support Services and what we do, here is what we look forward to being able to do for you this year.

What To Expect from Education Catering Support Services

The first thing that you should know is that we are not a consultancy. Education Catering Support Services is a school partner. We take responsibility for the positive outcomes of your catering service and work with you to ensure that the service works for you and your pupils. Working with us allows for full autonomy of your establishment’s catering service, without the additional investment of school leadership’s time. We offer confidence and peace of mind that your catering provision is operating in a financially viable manner. We pride ourselves on ensuring that you comply with Food Safety and Health and Safety Legislation, which is of the utmost importance.

Our service offers you the means to return any surplus back into the catering service or other educational activities. We work alongside you, for the benefit of your catering service and the pupils that it serves. Working with us allows you to feed children and young people with nutritionally balance tasty meals in a cost effective way without the using valuable leadership time that is dedicated to ensuring their educational attainment is maximised.

Experience beats promises, every time. Here are some quick facts about me (Karen) and my experience to date…

•At 21, I was an Area Manager of Dudley Catering Services and was responsible for the operational and financial performance of 35 units including primary schools, secondary schools, special schools, children’s homes and residential homes for the elderly.

•I have worked in Dudley, Sandwell and Birmingham as an Area Manager, in Local Authority Catering, accumulating over 25 years experience.

•I have also worked in the contract catering sector and also the voluntary sector.

•I am a trained chef and cooked in large organisations, such as schools, large supermarkets, residential homes and hospitals before taking up managerial responsibility.

For the past three years, I have been the Head of Schools Catering for Coventry City Council, operating a fully traded service, with no financial support from the Local Authority. A key achievement from this role was commencement of post service had a £1m deficit. Following my input this sum was turned into a positive sum. Now, we are working to bring these same key successes and successful partnerships to more catering services.

Why Open Education Catering Support Services? 

We exist to provide a solution to the current options that educational establishments have, with regards to their catering service. Currently, they can do one of two things:

•Use a contract caterer –  This has its draw backs, as schools tend to have to pay a management fee and rarely are any surpluses paid back to the school

•Self-manage the catering in-house –  This option uses up a significant proportion of leadership time, which could be better used on the priority of the school, which is the education  of pupils.

At the beginning of this brand new academic term, do your menus comply with the Food Information Regulations introduced in December 2014? Were you aware of the new school food standards launched on 1st January 2015, and more importantly how to meet them? Partnering with ECSS means that you need not worry about the latest regulations, as we work to ensure that your establishment is always up to date and improving.

If you would like to see how a bespoke partnership between your establishment and Education Catering Support Services could benefit you, please contact us.

Again, happy new year

Karen, MD