Cooking up school meal facilities

Monday, 11 January 2016 - 4:00pm
Project Type: 
Schools Kitchens Team
Client Name: 
City-wide infant schools
Project Date: 
January 2016

Birmingham Schools - cooking up school meals facilities for infant schools city-wide

In January 2014 the government’s Minister of State for Schools introduced the Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) programme requiring all schools to provide a free nutritious lunch to every primary school child in reception classes, year 1 and year 2 by September 2014.

Limited funding was available to be used to improve school kitchens and dining facilities in order to deliver this requirement. Schools all over Birmingham were initially unsure how to deliver against this challenging mandatory requirement. In nine months the challenge was to provide innovative solutions to install additional catering capacity at schools with obstacles such as insufficient space/old structures and restricted funding – all within short timescales and with no disruption to curriculum activities or current meal delivery.

Our two-man Schools Kitchen Team – Paul James and Sean McMulkin – tackled the challenge head-on and soon became the guiding light for the collaborative taskforce made up of key stakeholders from BCC Education, headteachers and catering providers.

Against all odds and surpassing all expectation our expert engineers set up and delivered a complex and punishing programme of works to incorporate what were sometimes invasive kitchen overhauls, redesigns, strip-outs and refurbishments for a remarkable 80+ schools in just nine months. The result was that every Birmingham school was able to meet their legal requirement of delivering free school meals for Infants for September 2014.

The overall winner? The children and future generation of Birmingham. Our clients have confirmed in countless glowing feedback forms that they have happier, healthier and higher achieving students across the city.

What the customer says; 

“All stages of consultation/works and follow up were exemplary, our completed kitchen is absolutely fantastic, we are really thrilled with it. Our pupils are now having cooked meals for the first time in five years” Debbie Dudt, Headteacher, Cofton Primary school