Catering service - primary, secondary and nursery schools

Service promise

Partnership with our school clients and growing uptake are the twin objectives for our service. As a result, we have identified the following key principles which we believe are important to you throughout our Service Level Agreement (SLA). These are summarised below:

  1. A responsive service partner that will work with you to innovate 

  2. A consistently high standard of food and service

  3. Menus that take into consideration the requirements of your school and pupils and are exciting

  4. A high quality of meals with fresh sustainable ingredients, fresh cooking and craft trained chefs, giving parents and the school peace of mind that pupils can take a healthy meal

  5. Compliant lunches which satisfy School Food Standards legislation on the governing body's behalf 

  6. Meals which represent value for money and offer two courses and two accompaniments (bread and salad) for the price of a school meal

  7. Making sure each student gets their first choice, enjoys their meal, and tries new food.

  8. We will promote healthier options using the principles of the balanced plate

The quality of our meals and beverages is one of the most important aspects of our food service strategy.  Our raw materials are always grade "A". We propose:

  • Freshly prepared dishes from fresh unprocessed ingredients 

  • No fish from the Marine Stewardship Council 'fish to avoid' list is served 

  • Our vegetables, fruit, salad, and potatoes are predominantly fresh, whole and seasonal

  • High levels of local procurement of meat, dairy, fruit, vegetables, and salads 

  • Red Tractor (UK farm assured) chicken, pork, and beef

  • Free range eggs

  • Our fish fingers are fortified with Omega 3 and our tuna is dolphin friendly

  • Our suppliers are vetted, fully traceable and many are local to minimise food miles including fruit, vegetables, and salads from Livesey's, bread from Morris Bakers, cheese from Dewlays, fish and meat from Youngs in Grimsby, YPO and Brakes

  • We comply with the DEFRA Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering Services

  • Our meat is of a high standard, for example, our minced beef is steak mince with only 5% fat

  • We will comply with Natasha's Law 

  • We provide Special Diets when requested in advance and in line with Allergen legislation 

  • Our food does not contain nuts, added salt or saturated fat, artificial additives, or colourings, or mechanically recovered meat

Our purpose is to provide pupils with high quality, healthy and affordable food choices, helping them to perform well in school. Knowing that your school catering service is delivered consistently and compliant with legislation, allows your senior leadership team and your governing body to focus on the core outcomes for your school. 

We have now had approval for Parent Portal to be rolled out in three stages across the Primary Schools.  

We have worked in partnership with the Public Health team in Bury and all our schools have achieved 'Excellent' in the 'Greater Manchester Healthier Catering Award' and strive for five stars from the Environmental Health Team.

Trusted, honest, responsive

Our constantly evolving professional catering team is focused on you as a client. We have a new Senior Operations Manager with both contractor and local authority experience, two new Area Managers, three new Mobile Support Officers who are Chefs first and foremost which sets us up to succeed as we come of out the pandemic crisis. 

Our infrastructure, as a specialist education catering provider, means we have the capacity to deliver what we promise. That promise is great value services to primary and secondary schools, nurseries, special schools, and childcare centres. Due to our growing reputation, the few schools who left, are now asking to return.

Our team will welcome the opportunity to meet with each school to make sure its service continues to be re-aligned to its requirements as we experience the next wave of changes that impact education. 

We will also conduct a consultation exercise with students, parents, and the wider community to ensure our service is pertinent.

The detailed specification of service set out in this document is the minimum standard, but with the agreement of your school/academy we will continue to develop and improve service provision in line with our core principles of the best value; providing a flexible and evolving service led by your needs, as our client. We will lead, supervise and monitor the kitchens to ensure we deliver to our promises.

The best for Bury

We pride ourselves in sourcing ingredients of the highest quality, buying British, and local food wherever possible, to support Bury's local community, businesses, and economy. We already incorporate organic produce and will widen our range to promote our journey towards "Food for Life" accreditation. 

As your local catering provider we have the ability to provide relief cover that surpasses the capacity of our competitors who often have their Head Office's around the M25. As a not-for-profit provider we ensure that every pound of cost is just that, genuine cost and not profit that flows out of the borough and often, out of the country.

We also pride ourselves that we have social value as part of our service, ensuring that all the staff are paid a Real Living Wage with Union approved staff benefits, as we know they are the parents and grandparents of the students attending your school.  

Bury Council has declared a climate emergency, so as part of our service we are working to ensure increased recycling, the phasing out of single use plastics, as well as ensuring that our menus have increased plant-based choices to reduce our carbon footprint. We will endeavour to work with your school to make your kitchen a "green" one.

Always fresh, healthy and good value

Our food service team understand that fresh, attractive and tasty food is fundamental to young people's health and academic achievement. We are committed to ensuring there is plenty of delicious, popular, innovative dishes that are freshly prepared from fresh ingredients daily. 

We look forward to continuing our partnership to support the health and well-being of Bury's students and ensure every mealtime is an enjoyable and social occasion.

Food for Life Served Here: We've been awarded!

Would you like to sign your child up for our award-winning school lunches prepared by Bury Catering? Get in touch with your school for more information.

We're excited to let you know that our school lunches are award winning! Bury Catering have been awarded the Bronze Food for Life Served Here Award by the Soil Association. This award, from the UK's leading food and farming charity recognises our dedication to providing students with lunches that reach, and go beyond, the national School Food Standards. In short, sugary snacks and fizzy drinks are out and fresh fruit and vegetables are in.

This prestigious certification from the UK's leading food and farming charity recognises our dedication to providing school meals that are not only delicious, but are good for your children's health, nature and the climate.  It cements our commitment to serving food that adheres to the national School Food Standards (nutritional guidelines), making healthy eating easy for your children. 

  • Meat and eggs are all sourced from the UK, from good animal welfare systems, fish is not endangered, and all our meat and eggs can be traced back to the farm. We only source from farmers who champion animal welfare.  

  • The ingredients we use are completely free from nasty additives, trans fats and GMOs. As well as all this, our menus are inclusive of cultural and dietary needs

  • We understand that every child has unique requirements and it's important to us that everyone is catered for.  

  • By opting to use seasonal ingredients and cooking food from scratch we are lowering carbon emissions and reducing the negative impact of our food on the environment, meaning that our menus are sustainable.

We know that food is a vital part of education, and understand that fresh, healthy food is what young minds need to grow and develop. That's why our varied menus include a range of options to make healthy eating easier for everyone. 

If you're as proud as we are that pupils are fuelled by fresh, healthy and sustainable food, we'd love it if you could help us spread the word. Connect with Food for Life Served Here on Twitter @SAFoodforLife or Facebook and tag us on Facebook Schools Catering Service - Bury Council.

Like to find out more about Food for Life Served Here?  Please visit


The Catering Service prides itself on offering a fully comprehensive school catering package for Schools, Academies and Nurseries within Bury. We look after all aspects of the on-site catering including employing the catering team and maintaining equipment, allowing you to focus on your core activities.

What the service provides

Our foods are carefully sourced through AGMA wide Procurement ensuring costs are low, and only the freshest ingredients are purchased through local suppliers.  We offer:

  • Menus that meet the tastes and dietary requirements of our customers, including allergies plus cultural/religious requirements for both pupils and adults

  • Menus that comply with current School Food Standards (nutrition)

  • Experienced Area Team who will supervise, support, guide, monitor and manage kitchens 

  • Support for emergency situations

  • Hospitality/buffet menus for school staff and visitors

  • Promotion of service at new intake events, theme days, taster sessions, parent-child meals 

  • Repair, maintenance and replacement of kitchen equipment and dining room furniture

  • Cashless catering systems for High Schools and a parent portal including E-payments for Primary Schools

Benefits to your school

  • Fully managed service including HR, Payroll, insurance, absence cover, cleaning, light equipment, uniforms, training, DBS, kitchen management systems, etc.

  • DBS checked and suitably trained staff in Food Safety practices and Safeguarding


Catering SLA charges are indicated on the individual SLA's sent to schools. Charges are based on a cost per meal and an SLA charge. We have endeavoured to keep these as value for money as possible for schools.