Bowland High School
Bowland High is a medium sized co-educational secondary school, with academy status, located in Grindleton, Lancashire. The school is friendly and supportive with a real family atmosphere and is an important part of the rural community.
Historically, the catering was managed by the local authority and the school was becoming frustrated with its lack of control over the menus and the service delivery. An initial service review by Litmus identified that savings could be made if the school managed the service themselves.
The school wanted to ensure the catering team they had in-house were closely guided through the first few months of managing the service directly, and so Litmus was bought in to support the school through this transitional phase.
Diana Lishman, the Litmus Partnership, said: “I was appointed to work closely with the school as they went through this change; there was understandably some nervousness around managing the catering in-house when it had been outsourced for some years.
“I spent time with both the catering manager and business manager before preparing and creating various systems and procedures to ensure the in-house operation was set up for success. For example, we prepared bespoke school food compliant menus using our menu management software, created the HACCP system for the catering department including all relevant paperwork, prepared an annual catering budget and provided a system to monitor the catering financial performance, as well as ensuring all catering staff were fully trained.
“For a period afterwards, I visited on a monthly basis to mentor the catering manager, check the service and importantly to provide fresh ideas and suggestions for continuous improvement.”
In the first year, the school saved £30k and the feedback from pupils was positive. The catering manager and team are very confident in running the operation; the monthly visits are no longer needed and Litmus now visits once a term.
“Litmus Partnership has supported Bowland High school to bring the catering service in-house. They have worked with the Catering Manager to set up systems and procedures so the catering service is operating at a modest profit and is compliant with school food standards. We continue to use Litmus for regular audits of the catering service and for ad-hoc support. As a multi-academy trust we are looking at how we can use Litmus to support other schools within the trust in a similar way to Bowland High.”