School meals are provided by Shetland Islands Councils Catering Service at 30 schools, located on nine separate islands throughout Shetland. Twenty-six of these schools have their own kitchen facilities, whilst the four remaining ones are dining centres, and meals are transported to them from neighbouring schools. Approximately 482000 meals are provided annually.
Shetland Islands Council supports and encourages healthier eating in order to give every school child the best start in life. Eating habits formed in early childhood help to shape future behaviour and that educating children on the value of a balanced diet has life-long benefits. Our service will also encourage pupils to enjoy food through the social experience of having a school meal with their classmates.
- To ensure all school meals meet the required nutritional standards set down by the Scottish Government. In “The Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Act
- To provide attractive meals cooked and presented to a high standard
- To participate in the ‘Whole School Approach to School Meals’ to encourage positive change through partnership working as recommended by the HUNGRY FOR SUCCESS initiative.
Hungry for Success
The Scottish Government Initiative has been rolled out in partnership with Schools Service following the seven guiding principles set out in the Government document ‘Hungry for Success’ – a Whole School approach to School Meals in Scotland’:
- Positive School/Whole child ethos
- Partnership Working
- Pupil Consultation
- Eliminating Stigma
- Managing the Process
- Influencing Choice
Besides setting the Nutritional Standards for school lunches, the initiative goes further and directs the service towards the whole school approach.
Further information on Hungry for Success can be found in the Hungry for Success document on the Scottish Government website.
The School Meals
The school meal is an important part of daily food intake. Traditional school lunch menus are balanced to ensure that they provide a third of the daily nutritional requirements of pupils. They are planned to ensure that the food and drinks on offer over a school week period average out to meet the statutory nutrient standards set by the Scottish Government in ‘The Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Act. This Act also clearly defines foods which we can serve. Many items of confectionery contain large amounts of added sugar and some also contain high amounts of fat. These foods tend to be high in energy but provide very few nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals, so we do not provide them.
Healthy eating principles are applied to our school meals menus. The amount of salt, sugar and saturated fat used has been reduced, and we have increased significantly the amount of fruit and vegetable used. We have introduced ‘Oily Fish’ such as salmon and mackerel on to our menus, both of which are gradually becoming foods that pupils are happy to choose. ‘Home cooking’ is very much the order of the day with processed foods being kept to a minimum. Chips are available once a week, as is fresh local haddock, which is usually served fried. Although the traditional foods form the basis of our menus, we also serve a variety of international dishes such as Moroccan Lamb, pasta based dishes, wraps, fajitas etc.
A school lunch consists of a two course meal, consisting of a main course plus either a soup, pudding, fruit or yoghurt.. Also available daily is fresh fruit juice, milk, water and bread.
The cost of a primary pupil lunch is £2.00 and a secondary pupil will pay £2.10.
In primary schools a traditional lunch is served. In the High Schools and larger Junior High Schools a cash cafeteria service is operated. Snack items as well as traditional meals are available and items are individually priced.
School menus are produced monthly. Many schools have a copy of the menu on their web site, but a paper copy is also available on request from the school.
We believe that School Meals are an important part of the school day, and should be a social and relaxing experience, where your children can taste and enjoy a variety of both familiar and new foods.
Health eating, vegetarian, and special dietary items are included in menu plans. If your child has any specific medical dietary requirements please contact the Head Teacher of your child’s school. A meeting will then be arranged with the Head Cook and yourself to discuss your childs dietary needs.
School Meals Menus
The primary school menus are produced monthly. Many schools have a copy of the menu on their web site also make a paper copy available on request.
Frequently asked questions:
Q: Do all schools provide school meals at lunchtime?
A: Yes, all schools offer food at lunchtimes. (except Foula School) The type of provision may vary according to the school and the length of the school lunch break.
Q: How much does a school meal cost?
A: Primary cost £2.00, Secondary cost £2.10
Q: How will my child’s school cater to his/her special dietary requirements?
A: Contact the Head Teacher of your child’s school and a meeting will be arranged with the catering staff and yourself.
Q: What are the advantages of my child having school meals?
A: If your child has school meals, s/he is receiving a nutritional daily meal, which saves you having to prepare a packed lunch or arrange for them to come home at lunchtime. It is also an opportunity for your child to develop social skills as s/he sits with other children to eat lunch.
For further information you can view our Healthy Eating Policy or contact our catering manager::
Catering and Cleaning Manager
Hayfield Lane, Lerwick
Tel: 01595 744129