School lunches satisfaction survey 2006

New Search

Purpose Lancashire County Commercial Services (LCCS) wanted to assess its current performance on delivering school meals in primary schools and to gain an understanding of the service improvements required.

The research was carried out to help develop the service, with the ultimate aim of increasing take-up of school meals from around 43% to achieving a target of 60% penetration within primary schools. Recently there has been considerable media activity on school meals that will see the Government introduce additional funding into school meals delivery. LCCS would like to maximise this money, by offering a service that will meet the needs of current customers and stimulate additional take-up. To achieve this, research was designed to generate baseline satisfaction data and provide service improvement information, including finding out the reasons why some children don't have school lunches.
Subject School services eg meals, crossing, EPS
Commissioned by Lancashire County Commercial Services
Geographic area All of Lancashire
Method Questionnaire - postal
Consultation with Parents/carers
Date 01/06/2006 - 30/07/2006
Undertaken by Corporate Research and Intelligence Team


Number in sample 9000
Number of responses 1272
Response rate 14%
Key findings The majority of parents of children who take school lunches are satisfied with the service. The healthiness of the food is considered the most important factor for school lunches. Three in ten parents whose children do not take school lunches say that the price is an important factor.

School meals users are generally satisfied with the school lunch menu. Both sets of parents put their children's preferences for a protein meal in the same order, with white meat (eg chicken) the most preferred, followed by cheese (eg pizza). Pasta dishes (eg lasagne) are the preferred carbohydrate dish for both sets of children. The second most preferred option is a potato dish (eg shepherds pie) for children who take a school lunch, and bread dishes (eg sandwiches) for those who don't.

Three-quarters of respondents said they had received information about the school lunch service once a school term or less. Seven in ten parents rated their child's lunch as at least fairly healthy. The vast majority of parents think their children's overall diet is healthy.

The top reasons for not taking a school lunch was for the parents to ensure they know what they are eating, because the child gets a hot meal in the evening, and that they prefer a packed lunch.

Project document(s)



Contact information

For more information about this research contact:

Mick Edwardson
01772 530290