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School Lunches

At Hart Plain Junior School, we believe that the best option for children at lunchtime is to have the hot school dinner, provided through our partnership with Education Catering . This is because we believe that the hot school dinner option is much better for the children’s learning and health. We recognise the evidence that states

  • Children are better prepared for learning if they eat well
  • Children make more progress if they have eaten the right nutritional lunch
  • Only 1% of packed lunches provide the correct nutrition
  • Eating hot dinners is an important social occasion and the children learn vital social skills

We are lucky enough to have our own kitchen so all school meals are cooked on site. Each child can select a main item from the menu, which automatically comes accompanied by vegetables, carbohydrate and a dessert (fruit is always a dessert option).

Our menus adhere to the nutritional standards that came into effect from September 2008 and each child will have the opportunity to have at least two portions from a selection of vegetables, salad and fruit with their meal. We will also be continuing to offer additional bread as a free extra to our meals and water is available throughout the lunch period.

Lunch is provided at a cost of £3.00. We ask children to pay for school lunches online. There should be no money brought in to school. Payment must be paid online in advance. Should you repeatedly not pay beforehand your child may be no longer able to buy a hot dinner and a packed lunch will need to be brought in from home. Please contact the office for further information about online payments.


Children may bring a packed lunch to school as an alternative to a school dinner. Sweets are not allowed, although chocolate covered biscuits are acceptable. Please encourage children to have a balanced meal in their lunchbox, this could include a sandwich and an item of fruit or raw vegetables. Water is provided for all children at lunchtime. If drinks are brought from home they should be in a suitable non-glass container or flask.

All sandwich boxes and drinks containers are collected in at the beginning of the school day for safekeeping and stored in a safe place.

Free School Meals


This criteria for eligibility is where parents/guardians are in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seekers' Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided you are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit, and have an annual gross income, of no more than £16,190 as assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs1
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

No other benefits qualify for free school/college meals from Key Stage 2 and or pupil premium for Key Stage 1.

Applying for free school meals

A parent or guardian may wish to check their child's eligibility for Pupil Premium or continued free school meals (from Key Stage 2) and HC3S has an online service for this. The service allows you to check your own eligibility for free school/college meals, or you can check on behalf of someone else.

To complete a check you will need the following information for yourself, or the person you are checking on behalf of:

  • Name, home address and email address
  • National Insurance Number or National Asylum Support Service reference number
  • Child or student's name, date of birth and school/college

Please note that by following the link below to the online  eligibility checking service, you are leaving Hampshire County Council's website.

The data you enter on the screen will be used to process your request.

I would like to check for free meal eligibility

Pupil Premium is an important payment for schools and a really good opportunity for eligible parents to get even more support for their children in school.

Application forms are available from the School Office and when completed and presented together with the necessary evidence, these can be processed at the school office during school hours. All applications must be renewed every term. Entitlement to free meals ceases immediately the applicant is no longer in receipt of any of the above benefits. Parents must inform the School Office as soon as their entitlement ceases. We are always very happy to assist parents with any queries regarding free school meal entitlement.