School Dinners and Food in School

Universal Infant Free School Meals

All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to a school dinner every day. This is FREE and you don’t need to order it with Chartwells as we have to order these meals.

Although many of the children enjoy having a school dinner, there are others who may not. While we fully support this Government initiative, as a school working towards Eco School status we don’t like to see so much food going to waste and we don’t want hungry children going home!

To solve this problem we are asking that you (in discussion with your child) make a decision and choose one of the following options:

  •  Commit to having your universal free school meal five days a week


  •  Choose not to have your universal free school meal at all and bring in sandwiches every day 

You will be asked to make this choice every half term through the year to minimise wastage but the system gives some option for change if required.

*Please note: If you choose to have a school meal five days a week, we are currently on a 90% meat menu on Wednesday (roast) and Friday (fish and chips) at the request of parents in the previous year.

Free School Meals

We want to make sure that we are providing your child with the best education and support we can. Healthy and nutritious school food has positive health benefits and can help pupils establish healthy habits for life. Healthy school food can also help to improve pupils’ readiness to learn.

Families who receive certain benefits may be eligible for free school meals.  Your child is eligible for free school meals if you’re in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit with an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for the four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Child Tax Credit (with no Working Tax Credit) with an annual income of no more than £16,190

Registering for free meals could also raise an extra £1,320 for our school, to fund valuable support like extra tuition, additional teaching staff or after school activities.

This additional money is available from central government for every child whose parent is receiving one of the benefits listed above.

To check if your child is eligible, please apply online.

Click here for information about applying for Free School Meals (even if your child receives Universal Free School Meals).


Key Stage 2

If a KS2 child is not eligible for a Free School Meal, a hot meal can still be ordered for them by parents / guardians through Chartwells, at a cost of £2.35 per day. Meals can be ordered online at


Chartwells FAQs

What is the deadline for ordering meals and why is it so long?

The deadline for ordering meals is midnight on Sunday, one full week (7 days) prior to the complete week before the meal is served. This deadline is dictated to Chartwells by both their suppliers and by the necessary chain of supply that is needed to ensure delivery to all West Sussex Primary Schools.

How do I order my choice of meals?

The choice of meal is made at point of service. Your child can choose either a Standard Meal, Vegetarian Meal* or Alternative Choice on the day.

Do Chartwells supply a packed lunch when my child is on a school trip?

Packed lunches are not supplied for school trips. If a meal has been ordered for that day, it is the parent/guardian's responsibility to cancel the meal within the cancellation time frame (i.e. 5 working days before the meal would be served). The exception to this is any child who is eligible for Free School Meals but their meal would be ordered by the school rather than the parents.

Do Chartwells cater for children with special dietary requirements?

Special diets will be catered for, provided requests for these are supported by a medical report such as a letter from your GP or hospital dietician. Requests for special diets should be made direct to Chartwells with a supporting letter. A special menu will then be agreed upon between the parent and the Area Manager for the child's school. Religious diets will be catered for by the vegetarian meal.


General Ordering Queries

All meal cancellation e-mails must be sent to [email protected]

All special diet enquiries to [email protected] or posted to

Chartwells, Unit 2 Lincoln House, City Fields Way, Tangmere, Chichester, West Sussex PO20 2FS

Phone: 01243 836130 or 0845 603 7998

Fax: 01243 774242

Sickness reporting line (message service only) 01243 773239

Office Hours: 8:30am -4:00pm, Monday to Friday, Answerphone available, any messages left after office hours will be answered on the next working day.