School Dinners

Alton_Park_Junior_School_Essex_1293Please be aware that the weekly menus may vary slightly from time to time.

Year groups alternate each week between eating in the dining hall and in the classroom. On a Monday-Wednesday, if having a school dinner, children eating in the dining hall will receive a hot meal. Children eating in their classrooms on these days will receive a cold ‘packed lunch’ style meal. On a Thursday and Friday, all children will eat in the same location as they did Monday-Wednesday, but they will have the option of choosing between a hot or cold meal.

Fresh Bread and choice of Yoghurt and fresh fruit is available every day.

Milk and water are served every day.

Dinners are £2.00 payable in advance payable by cash, cheque or via the Schoolgateway app (which provides daily updates of your child’s balance).  Tap the blue button to find out more information about Schoolgateway:-

About Schoolgateway

Dinner Menus

Free School Meals

If you believe your child may be entitled to free school meals, please click the link below to find out the eligibility criteria:


If you have any further questions or would like to apply, please enquire in the school office.

Dinner Money Protocol

Alton Park Junior School is responsible for the collection and reconciliation of all school dinner money and are therefore liable for all arrears and non-payments.

Parents/carers are responsible for providing a lunch for their child(ren); this may be in the form of a paid meal, application of a free school meals entitlement or a packed lunch from home.

Parents/carers must pay for school meals IN ADVANCE unless their child(ren) have a free school meals entitlement (please contact the School Office for more details on ‘Free Schools Meals’ entitlement). Meals must still be paid for whilst an application for FSM funding is being processed.

Alton Park Junior School has a clear set of procedures for the payment and collection of school meal money and any arrears that occur:

  • School meals must be paid for in advance.
  • At Alton Park Junior, school meals can be paid for online through Gateway [minimum payment required £6] (see Appendix A), at the office or the money can be given to class teachers in a named envelope.
  • Reminders will be sent to parents/carers who have not paid for school meals by way of a text message.
  • Should arrears reach £6 (per child) then parents/carers will be notified that the school is unable to supply a school meal and that they are required to send packed lunches for their child(ren) until the debt is cleared.
  • In the event that a school dinner is expected when arrears stand at more than the school’s limit (see above) then parents/carers will be contacted by the school and will be expected to bring a packed lunch to school.
  • In the event that the debt is not recovered and packed lunches are not provided from home, school reserves the right to offer minimal lunch only to any child, for which parents/carers will be charged.
  • If an online payment should be returned unpaid, or ‘bounce’, the school may charge an administration fee. This will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
  • If debt is outstanding for an older sibling then all arrears have to be paid in full before any sibling can order a school meal. e. if a younger sibling joins the school and there are existing arrears for any older siblings (including those pupils that have left the school) a school meal will not be provided until all arrears have been paid in full.
  • If your child is absent from school and meals have been paid for, these will be carried forward as credits and payments will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Credits and outstanding debts are carried forward from one school year to the next. No refunds are issued unless the child leaves or a parent/carer requests payment.
  • In certain circumstances it may be deemed necessary to pursue the debt through the Small Claims Court, if outstanding debts have not been paid.

Trips, School Events and Special Days

Parents/carers will be given the opportunity to request a school packed lunch for trips, school events and special days.  These must be ordered and paid for in advance.  These lunches will not be available to order on the day of the trip, school event or special days.

Those parents/carers who are entitled to FSM will be issued with a school meal or a packed lunch (ordered in advance from the Finance Office), unless parents/carers request otherwise.  In these cases, parents/carers will be expected to provide a meal for their child(ren).

Appendix A – How to access Gateway

  1. Go to
  2. When you visit the School Gateway website for the first time, please select ‘New User’ and enter your email address and mobile telephone number you have registered with the school
  3. The system will send a PIN code to your phone; please enter this PIN code and your account will be activated for you.
  4. Log in again as an existing user and you will be able to view all accounts

As soon as you have the system set-up, you’ll be able to pay money to the school online rather than send cash or cheques.

If you have recently changed your email address or mobile telephone number, please let us know so we can update our records.Starfish