Outstanding dinner money halved, though principal urges parents to settle bills in timely manner

Chef manager Michelle Lepherd serving up some of her delicious dishes at last night's tasting session where parents and children were invited to come and sample some of the school's menus

The amount of outstanding dinner money owed by parents has been slashed by half since before the Christmas holidays, when principal Ms Edis sent out a stark message that the funds owed could pay for an additional member of teaching staff.

“I am delighted that most parents and carers have now settled these bills, so a big thank you to you all," she said. "The number of parents and carers who were failing to pay for school lunches was  becoming a serious concern, and was having a very real impact on the resources available to the school. There are now only around 30 outstanding bills, so If you could please settle these by the end of the month it would be hugely appreciated, and for everyone to continue to pay in a timely manner. For those who are still facing financial difficulties,  please get in touch with us as soon as possible and we will endeavour to  come up with a workable solution. It may be the case that your child is entitled to free school meals, but in the first instance please contact us so we can resolve any problem.”

Some satisfied parents at last night's tasting session

Despite working with limited resources, Bolingbroke’s chef manager Michelle Lepherd, who has a background working in Michelin starred establishments, does an amazing job in dishing up tasty and nutritious meals for pupils and students every day. And last night she got the chance to showcase a variety of menus including black bean tacos, chilli con carne and tomato and basil pasta at a tasting session for parents, carers and children, where they were able to sample some of Ms Lepherd’s  great cooking and discuss any concerns they had with her. "The tasting went really well," she said. "I was able to answer many questions and allay a few fears. The parents seemed positive and enthusiastic and a year 7 child even thanked me in front of everyone!"

Home made chilli con carne and tomato and basil pasta were two of the dishes that visitors were able to try for themselves at last night's tasting

Ms Lepherd is passionate about the service she provides and runs a bespoke service, ordering all the food from a list of carefully checked reputable suppliers. The menus are rotated on a regular basis and she is very open to feedback from the pupils, and to adapt menus accordingly.  The school kitchen also happily caters for a wide variety of diets, including vegan, vegetarian or halal options.