Hillside Special School

Hillside Special School
Sudbury, Suffolk

School Meals (including Free School Meals)

School Meals

School meals are cooked on the premises and usually consist of a choice between two main dishes, a hot meal or a salad, and a traditional pudding or fruit or yoghurt. Special diets can be catered for.

Some families may prefer to send a packed lunch and some pupils will come with their gastro feed.

School meals are available to all pupils at a cost of £2.60 a day. Please see below for details of whether your child may be entitled to Free School Meals.


How do I pay for School Meals?

School meals must be paid for in advance. Payments can be made with debit or credit cards via Suffolk County Council’s online payment system. This can be found at: https://connect.suffolk.gov.uk/schoolmeals/

For further details of how to pay online, please see our How to Pay Us page.

Alternatively, dinner money can be paid using cash or cheques. Please send these into school on the first day of the week in a sealed and named envelope. Dinner money can be paid termly/half termly, if you prefer, but must be paid in advance. If paying by cheque, please make it payable to ‘Hillside Special School’.


Catering Service and Menu

EATS Catering provide our catering service. 

To view Hillside’s menus, please click on the link below.

Please note, our menus work on a three-weekly rota and the dates/weeks they relate to are stated on each menu page:


Free School Meals (FSM) and Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) Funding

Some pupils may be entitled to receive Free School Meals. To find out if you qualify and to apply please go to www.suffolk.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals where you will find more information. It is easy to apply, simply click on the green ‘Apply now for free school meals’ button on their web page and answer a few questions, you will usually receive a response within in a few days.

If you need any assistance with this please process, please phone the Free School Meals Team on 0345 606 6067 or email them at freeschoolmeals@suffolk.gov.uk

Your application is confidential and it will not affect any other benefits you are claiming.

For all those pupils who have applied and are registered as being entitled to Free School Meals the school is given additional funding known as ‘Pupil Premium Grant’ funding. Pupil Premium is given to schools by the Government to help children from lower income families to do well in school. This additional funding enables the school to provide extra support and resources for learning. Even if you do not wish for your child to have a school meal, and would prefer to send a packed lunch, or if they are gastrostomy fed, please still apply for Free School Meal status, as the school will receive Pupil Premium funding for all pupils who meet the criteria regardless of whether they actually have school meals or not. 

For details on how we spend this funding, please go to our Financial Information and Funding Reports page.


Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2

In addition to the above, pupils in year groups Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 are entitled to a school meal at no cost to their parent/guardian* under the Government scheme Universal Infant Free School Meals (which is a separate scheme to the Free School Meals and Pupil Premium scheme above). If your child is in one of these year groups you will simply need to tell their class teacher that you would like your child to have a school meal provided free of charge, or alternatively please send in a packed lunch.

However, the school does not receive any Pupil Premium Grant funding for pupils receiving a school meal under the UIFSM scheme unless parents have applied for ‘Free School Meal’ status as above. So if you think your child may be entitled to PPG Free School Meals, please still apply (as above).

*NB. A cash alternative is not available for those pupils not taking a school lunch under the UIFSM scheme.