School Catering

Fresh, tasty and delicious meals are on the menu at all schools in Rhondda Cynon Taf, thanks to Catering Services.

From a hot, filling, dish of the day to pasta pots, salads and more, the meals are healthy, balanced and affordable.

School Catering forms part of the wider Catering Services that also include community meals for venues such as day centres and the ever-popular Meals on Wheels Service that operates seven days a week in the community.

We provide approximately 20,000 meals per day and will ensure that all food supplied, produced, stored, handled and in some cases transported to client, service users or staff is done so in accordance with relevant legislative requirements.

We are working towards implementing nutritional standard regulations in our schools, as set out in the guidelines from the Welsh Government in the Appetite for Life (A4L) action plan -see A4L link below.

Appetite for Life

Appetite for Life sets out the Welsh Government's agenda for improving the food and drink provided throughout the school day and the actions needed to make this happen. Please complete our small survey about Appetite for Life.

The Welsh Government has designed a new webpage that is specifically for Appetite for Life and well worth a look:

School Meals

Following feedback from students we have launched new exciting menus across our schools. All our meals are cooked by trained staff using quality products and ingredients and in line with Food Safety standards.

Catering Staff

Appetite for Life sets out the Welsh Government’s agenda for improving the food and drink provided throughout the school day and the actions needed to make this happen. Primary schools have achieved the nutritional standards for Appetite for Life and Comprehensive Schools will have the new nutritional standards implemented by September 2013.

Why should I choose a school meal?

Schools are ideal places to encourage healthier eating and good choices in food for the pupils, which should assist in the prevention of childhood obesity and other health complications.

All catering staff are fully trained in food safety and in nutrition and healthy eating. They encourage students to select a healthy choice menu, meal options and a range of “Fun Days”

Actively working in partnership with Healthy Schools, Health Promotion, Dieticians and colleagues from the British Dental Association, one of our aims is to actively encourage the take up of the Eat 5 fruit and vegetable campaign.

We also cater for special dietary requirements either for medical, therapeutic, ethnic or elective grounds.

We provide lunchtime meals for pupils, teachers and support staff in:

  • Crèches
  • Nursery/infant/junior/primary schools
  • Special schools and pupil referral units
  • Secondary/high schools/community schools

Free school meals entitlement

Access to good quality school meals can make a significant contribution to a child’s dietary intake and influence to children’s overall health and wellbeing. The provision of free school meals (FSM) for those who qualify helps to ensure that most children have at least one balanced, nutritious meal during the school day, irrespective of parental income.

The range of choices for all pupils, either paying or entitled to free school meals is the same. Each day the catering services in each school (primary and secondary) provide a range of choices of hot meals, salads, filled jacket potatoes and baguettes, even pack lunches can be provided.

If you think your child may be entitled to free school meals please view the free school meals page for more information. To see our current menus:

Secondary/High/Community Schools Meals

The meal of the day comprises of a main course, dessert and drink.  This represents excellent value for money for only £2.50.

Also, on offer are the healthy choices below:-

  • Home made dish of the day e.g. curry, chilli, Cajun or traditional option from £2.25
  • Range of freshly prepared salads, salad & pasta pots from £1.30
  • Filled jacket potatoes from £1.40
  • Filled tortilla wraps, pitas, baguettes, rolls and hot baps from £1.30
  • Pre- selection vegetarian menu from £1.20
  • Delicious desserts, puddings, fresh fruit and yoghurts from 40p-90p
  • Pasta and Pizza of the day from £1.00 to £1.80
  • Range of nutritious snacks and drinks from 30p to £1.10

Each cafeteria is different and many are open from breakfast through until school closure and include, Sub-Central bars, coffee corners, boost bars including pasta, baguettes, spice and salad bars.

Primary School Meals

The primary sector is expecting a busy and exciting time ahead with the business moving forward with the implementation of the Appetite for Life food standards and nutrition guidelines. The current menu has proved popular with our customers and during the coming months the primary team intend making a few changes to include even more home cooked nutritional products, especially as nearly all our primary schools now have a salad bar. 

We offer a balanced set menu for £2.25 per day and we will continue with our commitment to use locally sourced products wherever possible.

To date, we have converted 15 dining centres to mini kitchens, when funding becomes available we plan to move this strategy out further.

We currently operate 108 free breakfast clubs in primary schools and served approximately 450,000 healthy breakfasts last year. This was possible because of funding from the Welsh Assembly Government.

In the past we have prided ourselves on the commitment to train our staff to above the legal requirements, and will continue to do so.

Quality and Training

Topics delivered by our training team include CIEH Food Safety Levels 1, 2 and 3, Nutrition Level 2 and Health and Safety. All are energetically delivered by our 2 highly experienced and enthusiastic trainers in a variety of venues throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Our customer base includes Rhondda Cynon Taf's catering staff, other internal individuals and external organisations. Our trainers enhance the learning experience by sharing their own personal experiences of public and private sector catering. Their continued daily involvement in large capacity catering operations supports their delivery, ensuring all delegates receive the most relevant and up-to date topical information in a friendly and accessible manner. The success and diversity of the training team was formerly recognised in July at the Local Association Catering Association (LACA) National Conference with the presentation of the Nan Berger Memorial Award which acknowledges innovation and diversity in catering training provision. 

Additionally, with the support and input of our of two 2 Quality Assurance Support Officer’s we provide consultancy services which include hygiene audits, hygiene related advice and Hazard Analysis documentation development. We also closely monitor the quality and safety of the food provision supplied by Catering Services throughout the authority and contribute and support the implementation of nutritional standards within RCT Schools.

Useful Links

Contact Us

We are committed to improving the standards of food served in all the services offered and developing a sustainable service for the future. Our aim is to provide a quality, value-for-money service and to contribute to the health and well being of the community as a whole.

Feedback is very important so if you would like to contact us regarding catering issues or to request copies of menus, tariffs etc please contact us:

RCT Catering Services
Tŷ Trevithick
Mountain Ash
CF45 4UQ

Telephone: 01443 744155
Fax: 01443 744290