School meals

Unless your child qualifies for free school meals, or is an infant age pupil (reception, year 1 and year 2), you'll have to pay for their school lunch.  

Check our free school meals page if you receive benefits, like income support or income based job seekers allowance, to check whether you can claim free school meals and to apply online

Although infant children will automatically receive a free meal, we're asking families who are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits for free school meals (see below) to still complete an online application on our free school meals page, so we can check if the school is entitled to receive the Pupil Premium for your child.

This is a grant provided by the government for every child who has the right to a free school meal. This is a significant sum per eligible pupil, and the money goes directly to the school to support individual pupils and the whole school community.

School meal options

Schools manage their own budgets, so they decide how they’ll provide school meals for their pupils.  They can choose between the following options:

  • buy a fully managed service from Barnsley Schools Catering Service
  • buy a fully managed service from a private catering company
  • manage their own kitchen and employ their own catering staff

Contact your child’s school, or visit their website for full details of their menu options.

How much school meals cost

In primary schools, the school lunch consists of a two course meal. The cost is set by the school, together with their governing body, so meal prices can vary from school to school.

In secondary schools, in addition to the standard two course meal, pupils can choose from extensive menus and cost effective meal deals to suit their pocket. Some schools also have a breakfast service and a morning break service. All secondary schools offer a range of meal deals and other items are individually priced.

Contact your child’s school, or visit their website to find out how much they charge for school meals.

Specialist diets

If your child needs a specialist diet because they have a medical condition, food intolerance, or for cultural or ethical reasons, let their school know so that they can provide for them appropriately.  Just ask your child’s dietician or doctor to write a letter to school.

Job opportunities

Barnsley Schools Catering Service

  • Catering assistant roles (part time/term-time roles)
    As our service operates throughout the Barnsley area, you may be able to apply for a post close to home. No formal qualifications are necessary as training is given. For further details, check our jobs section.

  • Head of kitchen roles – to check if there are any current vacancies, check our jobs section.