School Catering + Free School Meals

At Herne Bay High School our in-house catering service provides healthy, value for money meals made from the freshest, high quality, local produce.

All food and drinks on sale in school form part of a healthy diet and conform to school food standards.


Our full offering of hot meals, lighter bites and our cold selection is served to all students in the main restaurant, including a choice of:

  • Main meal and dessert (£3.45)
  • Full cold selection - sandwich, rolls, baguettes, wraps, cold pasta pots, fruit pots and crudités (ranging from 75p to £2.63)

 In addition, both the arena cafe and the outlet are available to students, serving a choice of:

  • Jacket potatoes - with hot or cold filling and a side salad (£2.30)
  • Pasta bar - hot pasta with a selection of sauces and a side salad (£2.30)
  • Paninis & other Hot Snacks (Ranging from £1.00 - £2.40)
  • Full cold selection - sandwich, rolls, baguettes, wraps, cold pasta pots, fruit pots and crudités (ranging from 75p to £2.63)

Lunch can be served as a takeaway option, however, a surcharge of 15p will be charged for the use of an environmentally-friendly takeaway box and cutlery. This surcharge does not apply when students eat in the restaurant with school crockery and cutlery.

Menu for June - July 2024*

*Due to no gas supply in the main kitchen, we are using this temporary menu for the remainder of this term. Unfortunately, because of this we are unable to provide the pasta/jacket bar for the rest of the term. The catering team apologises for the inconvenience caused but they are working with limited ovens.

Ingredients and Allergy List for April - July 2024

Ingredients and Allergy List - Pasta Bar

Price List - September 2023

Wherever stated on the menu that Vegan options need to be requested, please email to order at least 24 hours in advance


All of our staff are fully trained in allergen awareness, however we are unable to guarantee that any of our food is 100% allergen free as there is always a small risk of cross-contamination. 

All of our cold items are labelled with a full ingredients list with allergens stated in BOLD

Hot Snacks and Main Meals will always have allergen cards on display but if your child requires a full ingredients list a member of staff will be happy to help.  

If your child has any allergies or food intolerances and you would like to discuss what we can offer, please do not hesitate to contact

Rules of the School Restaurant

  • Students should ensure they have sufficient funds for their purchases 
  • Students must queue in an orderly manner
  • Students must use a tray
  • If you are eating in, please use a plate instead of takeaway boxes
  • Students must have their cards ready to enable being served as quickly as possible
  • Students without their cards must wait until those with cards have been served
  • Students must behave well and be respectful of the catering staff
  • Students must clear up after themselves
  • Students being disrespectful of the catering staff risk being banned from using the service
  • CCTV is in use in all catering areas
  • School bags must not be placed on tables

Catering FAQs

We would love every student to sit and have their school dinner on a plate, this is the most environmentally friendly, cost efficient and sociable way but we recognise that some students would rather take their meal away. We therefore have a takeaway option that uses Vegware boxes and the extra charge is to cover this cost.

Serving all of our students as quickly as possible in the limited time we have for lunch is challenging. We rely on our cashless catering system to make service as efficient as possible and if students have forgotten or lost the ID card they are provided with, it significantly slows down service as their names need to be entered into the system to access their account. Students that have not got their cards with them are asked to wait until the majority of those that do have their cards have been served. This encourages children to take responsibility for remembering their cards. Replacement cards are available for £1 at the start of each school year and for £3 mid year. The price charged for the cards contributes towards the cost of them and encourages students to take care of them. Replacement cards will be issued free of charge in certain circumstances.

Each student is issued with a card that is used for identity purposes, printing, access control and catering.  The card enables quick access to their lunch account and is swiped at tills in order to charge for catering purchases.  Funds can be loaded onto lunch accounts by parents using an app or by students using the cash loading machines.  

Please ensure that you load funds in good time for our system to update in time for lunch.  The system is normally very quick in registering any funds loaded but if parents wait until lunch time to load funds online, the system may need a little extra time for it to show due to the traffic on the system generated by all of the lunch sales transactions.  Your child can check their balance before being served to make sure that they have sufficient funds, if your top up has not updated or you have forgotten to top up they can go to the Finance Department and arrangements will be made for them to get some lunch.  

Yes, we can put a daily spend limit onto accounts so that parents can top up for the week, or the month and know that their funds will last the expected time. Contact the finance department to arrange spend limits.

Children in receipt of free school meals have a supplement added to their lunch account each day which can be used to purchase a hot or cold meal without any stigma.  The supplement is not intended for the purchase of bottled drinks and so drinking water is made available for all students.  The supplement does not show in the account balance and unused supplements end at the close of service each day and do not accumulate.

A hot meal could be the main meal and pudding or a jacket potato with filling or pasta and sauce with salad garnish together with a sweet item such as a yoghurt, fruit pot or biscuits.  For cold food there is a choice of a wrap, roll, pasta pot or sandwich and a sweet item.  No bottles or cartons of drinks are included in the free school meal allowance but drinking water is available.

For many children, their free school lunch is the only hot meal they may get each day and so the purpose of free school meals is to provide a hot and nutritious meal.  If the supplement was available to be spent at break time it could be used to buy a snack and therefore there would not be enough funds to be able to get lunch.

We will never knowingly let a child go hungry. If there is ever a problem with funds on their account they should go to the Finance Office and arrangements will be made for them to get some lunch. There is never nothing left to buy in the canteen, students have been known to tell their parents that the reason they are hungry and did not eat lunch was that there was nothing left. Of course, popular items do run out, there are only so many of every item that can be provided each day and we aim to have a good choice and mix of things available so that most people get what they want, but there is never nothing left. If students would like a particular thing for lunch they are encouraged to queue up early.