A balanced diet is essential for good mental and physical health, and to optimise growth and development in children and young people.  Adopting a healthy diet and good eating habits in the early stages of life will lay the foundations for future health.

Chartwells strive to use the highest quality fresh ingredients, incorporating seasonal and regional produce where possible.  We have a network of national and regional suppliers with whom we actively work to reduce the fat, salt and sugar levels of our food. Whilst monitoring these levels we also work to minimise and elimate, where possible,  the use of artificial additives.  None of our ingredients contain the 'Southampton Six' artificial colours which have proven to increase hyperactivity in children. 

Chartwells support the commitments Compass Group has made to the Government's Responsibilty Deal.  None of our ingredients contain artificial trans fats and we are working closely with all of our suppliers to work towards the 2017 salt targets.

Our menus are developed in line with healthy eating guidance.  We use the Eatwell Plate as a guide and ensure that menus are compliant witht the food based standards for school food.  We use the recommended portion size guidelines to ensure our recipes meet the nutrient requirements of all pupils and that portion sizes are sufficient.  In addition, we will continue to nutritionally analyse our central menus to evidence the nutritional profile of our recipes and menus.

We strive to be more than just caterers and in addition to a nutritious food offer we have a nutrition education programme in place to educate pupils on the importance of a healthy balanced diet.  All our nutrition education resources are in line with the national curriculum and in particular support the 'cooking and nutrition' curriculum within key stages 1-3.  Our 'Putting Fun Back into Food' programme also supports schools in adopting a whole school approach and makes learning about nutrition and food fun and inspiring. 

Amy Roberts BSc (Hons) RPHNutr

Head of Nutrition and Education. 

Parent Pay

In an attempt to remove cash and cheques from our academy we will be asking all parents/carers to use our e payment system to pay for future trips.  This can be done online using ParentPay or through local stores where you see the Pay Point logo.  If you haven’t already activated your ParentPay account or wish to pay cash please contact the academy finance office ( 

On line payments for our catering facility can be made via our online payment portal ParentPay (

Each student has a unique account where you can enter payments for catering and other services provided by the academy.  Parents can also access detailed usage which will allow you to see what your child has eaten each day and how much they have spent.  Students can spend up to £5 each day however you can request an amendment to this by either writing to the finance office at the academy or via email (

Free School Meals

How to Apply

A request has to be made before the Council can provide free school meals.  Normally, the parent or guardian of the child makes the request. 

Please note: you will have to pay for any school meals your child has before DMBC receives your application.

You can apply for free school meals up to a maximum of two months before your child starts school.

What happens when DMBC receives your application

Once you have applied for free school meals, DMBC  aims to deal with your request within 2 working days. When you apply online, your entitlement to free school meals will be checked automatically as part of the online process. In most cases this is all that is needed but, if they are unable to confirm your entitlement using this service, they will contact you for more information.

Once your application is dealt with you will receive  a letter confirming your entitlement to free school meals. We will also be advised that your child can start having free school meals.

You do not have to reapply for free school meals. As long as your circumstances stay the same, your childs right to free school meals will be renewed in July each year. You will receive a letter at that time to confirm that your children will continue to receive free school meals.

What happens if my circumstances change?

If you have a change in your circumstances you must let DMBC know straight away as it may affect your entitlement to free school meals. The things you must tell them about are:

  • If you stop receiving Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • HMRC reviews your claim for Child Tax Credit / Working Tax Credit
  • You stop receiving support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • A child leaves your home
  • A child comes to live with you
  • Your child changes school
  • You change address


Normally, the earliest date your free school meals can start is the date your request is received.  But, if you have a qualifying benefit backdated, for example, if you win an appeal for Income Support, you will receive a refund for any school meals you have paid for from the date you qualified for the benefit.  You can also ask us for a refund for any school meals you have paid for between the date of your request and the date your child starts receiving free school meals.

Extra benefits of claiming free school meals

Even if your child does not want free school meals, you should still make a request.  This is because you may be entitled to other benefits for your child, for example, free school milk for children under seven, or help towards board and lodging charges for school trips.

Please remember every time someone claims free school meals the academy receives additional funding that can be used to to support learning.

The academy uses a cashless catering system where all students pay for their meals in the same way so no one knows who is receiving Free School Meals and who isn't.

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