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Ellingham Primary School

Strong roots for flourishing futures

School Catering Update

Dear parents and guardians,
ISS Education would like to take this opportunity to update you on our new school meals
provision, which began in September 2016.
We would like to begin by thanking you for your patience during the first couple of months of
our contract. ISS were selected as your new school meals provider just before the summer
holidays. Whilst we were delighted by this news and eager to begin the new service, the
timescales meant that we didn’t have the opportunity to consult and communicate with you
as fully as we would have liked to before the first day of term. As a result, we encountered
some challenges. Below are details of these challenges and the current solutions we have
(or are putting) in place to rectify them.

Menu Change
Our aim is to offer lunches which are popular, healthy and delicious. Unfortunately, over the
course of the first six weeks of term, it became apparent that particular dishes on our new
menu were not being as well received as others. The feedback we had called for more childfriendly
dishes and a better variety of meal choices each day. We liaised with schools and
the AFC and it was agreed that a new menu would be implemented after half term.
The new menu, which is now being served, incorporates over 20 changes which include
more jacket potatoes, less spicy foods and simple dish names, as requested from parent
and school feedback. This is being well received by the pupils but please do continue to
share your feedback on the menu with us so we can develop and maintain a service which
offers a range of popular meal choices. Thank you for all the feedback you have given, after
review these we are going to reinstate the full dessert choice on the website from January
2017; this will allow parents to determine what their child has for dessert.
Going forward we will be holding regular consultation sessions with school councils and will
be holding parent taster sessions during the menu development process.

Online Payments (Cypad)
ISS uses a system called Cypad to order and pay for school meals. Cypad has various differences to the previous system. As with the menu, the short timeframe in which we had to communicate with you meant that we weren’t able to sufficiently guide you in how to use this. Subsequently, our Cypad support team have received a high volume of calls and emails from parents and guardians, which has resulted in delayed communications. To rectify the problem ISS has taken the following actions:
1. Created a guide for Kingston parents on registering and making payments
2. Recruited an additional administrator to support with enquiries (Anna)
3. Invested in a separate phone line for Kingston parents 01924792334
4. Created a new email address
We are pleased to say that the volume of enquiries is decreasing, but appreciate that we are still in a period of transition and that parents and guardians will still require support. As such, we will be holding Cypad troubleshooting sessions at schools which request them. We are also working with our partners at Cypad to develop technical solutions such as reminder emails. We will update you on this in the coming months.
Please remember that meals can be pre-ordered up to six weeks in advance. After this, please log back onto the system and order for the rest of the term, if there are more than six weeks in that term.
If you wish to register for school meals please use the contact details above.
Food Quality
We are delighted that in the majority of cases our offer has been well received and the pupils are enjoying the food. We recognise that improvements can still be made and therefore a training plan, which incorporates customer service, health and safety and cooking skills, has been devised and is being implemented across the schools in Kingston. This is already showing some great results.
We will continue to invite feedback on all aspects of our service and hope to continually work with you and your child to ensure that the school lunches in Kingston are of a consistently high standard.
We really appreciate your input and support. If you would like to discuss anything in this letter further, or have any other queries or suggestions, please get in touch by emailing us at
Thanks you for taking the time to read this letter
Kerrie Cole
ISS Operations Manager