Catering at The Sir John Colfox Academy


Free School Meals

We have a cashless system for the catering service at the Sir John Colfox Academy in Bridport. Our desire is to continue to provide and improve on the quality of the meal service at your school.

We are sure you will appreciate the advantages the system will offer the parents and pupils of the school. Also the system will enable us to deliver an efficient, fast service and continue to provide wholesome, healthy and enjoyable meals at the lowest cost.  Pupils will be informed of and given training on how to use the system.

For your convenience and to assist us in our administration of the service, a method of payment by cheque is in place. A cheque can be made out to ‘Caterlink Ltd’ and placed into the Post Box provided in the main foyer (next to the pay phone). Please write the full name of pupil and tutor group on the back of the cheque and place in an envelope.

Any amount of money can be paid into your account held within the system, money spent on food will be taken out of the system and you can always check by using the revaluation terminal to see how much you have left.  We are also able to provide you with a report detailing each item of food served, each credit made to the system for any time period and show a current balance, at your request.

There had been a daily ‘spend limit’ programmed into the system of £4.00, which could have been increased or decreased for an individual pupil by making a written request to the school kitchen. However it’s recently been agreed that there will be NO limit automatically placed on daily spending, unless specifically requested in writing by you, the parent.

Students with money left on their SMART cards at the end of term will have the balance carried over to the autumn term.

Should you wish your child to continue to bring ‘dinner money’ to school the facility for accepting cash payments for the day, or a number of days will of course be available. However, ALL cash will have to be entered into the system by using the automatic cash loader and cannot be used to buy food directly at the dinner counters. The cash loaders are programmed to accept £20 – £10 – £5 notes and – £1 – 50p – 20p – 10p coins.  Your child should therefore be using their SMART card to purchase any food at all times.  We hope that you and your child will enjoy, and benefit from, this service.

Will I qualify for free school meals? (if you are entitled to FSM you are also entitled to £50 (over 2 years) to purchase School Uniform.

To get free school meals you must be in receipt of one of the following qualifying benefits:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to working Tax Credit and have an annual taxable income (as assessed by The Inland Revenue) which from 6 April 2010 does not exceed £16,190
  • Income-based Job Seekers’ Allowance (IB JSA) or
  • Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) (ASA(IRA)) or
  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
  • Support under Part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

From 1 May 2009, 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 lunches

How do I apply for free schools meals?

You can apply by telephone- call Dorset Direct on 01305 221000

You will need to tell them your:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance Number (or your registered asylum seeker number)
  • Child’s details – name, date of birth and school for which you want free school meals

They will  make automated checks to confirm your entitlement and, if you qualify, they will tell you immediately and write to you within three working days of your call to them to confirm it.

Please see the below message from Dorset County Council re Free School Meals
All children who receive free school meals will remain eligible until at least 31 March 2022. This also applies to any new children who are approved before this date. From 31 March 2022, any child receiving free school meals will remain eligible until they have graduated from that school phase (e.g. a child in reception on 31 March 2022 would remain eligible until they finished Primary School in 2028)
This means that between now and 31 March 2022, parents do not need to contact Dorset County Council to cancel free school meals, even if they feel that their child is no longer eligible.
 More information about this and eligibility for free school meals can be found on Dorsetforyou.