Help you get a place at school (School admissions team)
School admissions are an important part of the council’s statutory work, its admissions team is responsible for admitting children into primary, junior and secondary schools. Whilst many schools in Gloucestershire are responsible for setting their own admissions policy and deciding who they offer places to, the council co-ordinates this to ensure that every child in the county has a school place offered to them and that all children are treated equally.
The admissions team also provide an information service to parents, schools/academies and other stakeholders. On an annual basis the team deals with over 15,000 applications for school places and receives over 25,000 calls and emails from parents during their application process. Over the past few years the team has improved its online service to allow parents to apply for a school place, receive their results and accept the offer all online 24 hours a day and in the last year 95% of parents chose to use this system.
Free school means (School meals team)
Most of the Counties School lunches are provided via a single contract for primary school and special school pupils. Gloucestershire’s Meals Service was the first large catering service in the country in 2011 to achieve the Gold Food for Life Catering Mark which recognises that menus use fresh, seasonal, local and organic ingredients, high welfare meat and sustainable fish and reflects best practice in healthy and sustainable school meals.
Currently all pupils may be entitled to free school meals if they are eligible for certain benefits. From September 2014 all infant school pupils (Reception through to Year 2) will be entitled to free school meals. The School Food Trust Survey : “Parent Voice” 2012 found that the main reason parents opt for school meals “is because they want their child to have a hot meal at lunchtime, they want their child to be able to sit with their friends, and because they know the child likes and will eat the food on offer” .
Does it really matter what Children eat ? Research and reports from The children’s food trust charity 2014.
Simply, the evidence shows that when children eat better, they do better – in many different ways:
- Better health – Research indicates the food children eat today shapes how they will eat for the rest of their lives. Too many children are still growing up overweight or obese because of poor diet, while others are malnourished
- Better achievement and behaviour- There a clear link between what children eat at lunchtime in school, where they eat it and how they focus with their teachers in the afternoon. Improve the first two and children concentrate better in the afternoons.
- Better diet overall – research shows that better food in schools affects what children choose to eat at other times too. When children have better cooking skills, their ability to recognise healthier foods improves and they eat a healthier diet.
Secondary schools within the county are responsible for their own catering arrangements. Which include many Catering companies providing an In house service or using external contractors.
Transport to schools (Transport team)
There are around 90,000 pupils in Gloucestershire schools and the county council helps with school transport for almost 9% of these – at an average cost of £14m per year. Where there is no suitable public transport available, the council commissions external transport operators to provide dedicated school transport for those pupils who are entitled.