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School Meals

Why children need to eat well

  • What children eat today shapes how they’ll eat for the rest of their lives
  • Too many children aren’t getting enough of the right foods to eat – and too little of the foods that help keep them healthy
  • When children eat better, they do better – they’re in better shape to reach their full potential
  • Being able to cook is an essential life skill: it all starts with getting children excited about food
  • Eating good food is one of life’s real pleasures: every child should know how it feels to enjoy a tasty meal with people you love

Breakfast Club

Children can’t concentrate if they haven’t eaten a good breakfast before school. That’s why we run a free Breakfast Club from 8:00am to 8:30am. We offer students low-sugar cereals, fruit, toast and crumpets, plus a choice of hot and cold drinks.


  • Water is available for all students throughout the day for free from drinking fountains located on each floor.
  • Juices, bottled water, and hot drinks are available from the school restaurant.
  • High-sugar and energy drinks are banned at Blackburn Central High School.

School Meals

School meals are a great way for children to improve their eating habits and to learn about the social side of eating with their friends. Our school meals are tasty, healthy and meet children’s nutritional needs as set forth in the National School Food Standards.

Research shows that the average school lunch is healthier than around 9 out of every 10 packed lunches. That’s because good nutrition is all about eating lots of different foods. It takes planning and effort to do this with a packed lunch, but it’s far easier with a hot meal.

Fussy eaters often thrive on school meals – parents tell us their children have tried all sorts of foods in school that they refuse at home.

We provide:

  • High-quality meat, poultry or oily fish
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Bread, other cereals and potatoes

We DON’T provide:

  • Drinks with added sugar, crisps, chocolate or sweets in school meals and vending machines
  • More than 2 portions of deep-fried, battered or breaded food a week
  • You can read more about school food standards on the School Food Plan website

Paying for school meals

We run a cashless catering system. Students top up their accounts by putting coins and notes into machines in school, and then they swipe their ID/dinner card to pay for their food at the till.

Parents and students can also pay online using a Scopay account, a login is available from our finance team (Phone 01254 505700 and ask for Finance). This means you can keep tabs on what they’re spending and your child won’t have to carry money around school.

Free School Meals

Children are entitled to receive free school meals if they or their parents or guardians receive any of the benefits below:

  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (if you’re not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an income less than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - household income less than £7,400 (after tax and not including benefits)

Should I apply for Free School Meals?

Yes! Every child registered for free school meals increases the funding school can apply for, it also means we can access more resources for our children, such as laptops for remote learning, grants to provide one-to-one tutors, or other opportunities that can improve our students' education and life chances.

How to Apply for Free School Meals

If you think you might be eligible for free school meals, you can apply to Blackburn with Darwen local authority here: https://www.blackburn.gov.uk/schools-and-education/school-meals

If you are eligible, we will be notified, and your child will receive free school meals until they leave school.

If you need help filling in this form or would like information about making a claim, you can telephone for advice and information on 0845 070 1066. You can also call in at customer services at either Blackburn or Darwen town hall. For more information please contact reception.

Scopay Online Payments
Apply for Free School Meals
School Meal Menu


Where will I find your menus?

Our menus are displayed in the restaurant and on large digital screens around school.

Can I come in and try a meal?

Yes, please contact reception about coming in and sampling our menu.

How much is a school meal?

From September 2022, a meal deal will cost £2.30 and provides the student with a main meal, and a desert or drink.

What if I think the portion sizes are too big or too small for my child?

Portion sizes aren’t set nationally because every child has a different appetite. But the kitchen staff get to know the students, and make sure they are getting a portion that’s appropriate for them. If you’re ever concerned that your child isn’t getting enough to eat contact their Pastoral Manager.