Deadline Dates

Fresh Start will endeavour to open Meal Manager two weeks before the end of each half term; however, this can sometimes be one week before the end of term depending on how much administration we have to do on Meal Manager to set the meals up.

We send out an email to parents when Meal Manager is open for ordering and an email to the school so they can inform parents via their communication systems.

Below is a table of the Deadline throughout the Academic Year 2017/18 and shows you the date you need to order by to ensure your child has meals in the first week of term.

Term 2017 Deadline Date for First Week of Term
Term 1 28 August 2018
Term 2 23 October 2018
Term 3 27 December 2018
Term 4 19 February 2019
Term 5 16 April 2019
Term 6 28 May 2019

   Are the school meals cooked on site?

A   YES! We take great pride in saying our chefs cook everything on site from scratch, including our base sauces. We use fresh ingredients, fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products and these are delivered directly into each school.

   Can I order my child school meals for just 2 or 3 days a week?

A    YES! We now offer the option of ordering between 1 and 5 meals per week on any day you choose.

Q   If I need to cancel a meal, do I need to let you know to avoid waste?

A   YES, as we cook to order per week. If your child no longer requires a meal, where possible, please inform us on the Tuesday the WEEK BEFORE you want to cancel the meal.

Q   Can I decide at any time during the school year whether my child will take up school meals?

A   YES, all you need to do is click on Meal Manager, found at the top of our website.  You need to register your child if you have not already done so, to choose their meals, or log back in using your email address and password you chose when you registered. Please ensure you Confirm your order otherwise we will not receive your meal choices.

Q   I want to change my child’s meal choices, can I do this?

A   YES, all you need to do is log into Meal Manager using your email address and the password you chose when you registered with us. You will be taken to Account Home and here you will see a button ‘Choose/Edit’ next to your child’s name. Click this and you will be taken to the first week available for ordering.  Please note: you will need to make any changes by the Tuesday the week BEFORE you wish the change to be made.

Q   I missed the deadline date, can I still order?

  YES, Meal Manager is now open all term for orders. However, you will NOT be able to order for the first week of term. You will need to make your order by TUESDAY the week BEFORE you wish your child to have meals. If you are after midnight on Tuesday you will have to wait until the following week for your child to have meals and will need to provide your child with a packed lunch until their meals begin.

Q   I want to add a meal but the system won’t let me, why not?

A  If your school has chosen to ask you to order for the full term you will not be able to add meals to your order online. You CAN add meals by emailing or calling us on 01869 226675.  This still needs to be done by the Tuesday the week before you need the extra meals.

Q  Allergies

A   We do our best to cater for children with food allergies and are able to cater for most comfortably. We do, however, have limitations and would like to ask you to take the time to read through these on our Allergens page

We require you to check the box within Meal Manager’s preferences but more essentially to fill out our Allergy Medical Form and send back into the school. This is so we can ensure that we understand your child’s full needs and also so we have a picture of your child for our kitchen staff.

If your child has an allergy outside of the list we have on Meal Manager please contact us directly on

Q  Meal Replacement for school trip days. 

A   Fresh Start offer a packed lunch on school trip days. The packed lunch is a set meal that includes a ham or cheese sandwich, crudites, a piece of fruit, popcorn or mini cheddar’s and a cookie or a piece of cake.  We do not provide a drink so please be aware you will need to supply this.

You are able to select, within the preferences, if you would like to have a packed lunch in place of the booked meal on Meal Manager.

Please be aware: If you advise Fresh Start that you would like a packed lunch on school trip days we will only provide this on the days that you have ordered a meal with us. If you have not ordered a meal with Fresh Start you will be responsible for providing your own packed lunch for the school trip.

Fresh Start automatically remove the meal choice for you and substitute this for your chosen packed lunch preference.

There may be occasion when Fresh Start is unable to provide a packed lunch, for example, Monday’s and on days when the children will be leaving very early. You will be made aware of this before the trip takes place to advise you this is the case.

You are able to change your preferences within your home page but please be aware any changes made for school trips must take place by the Tuesday the week before the trip is to take place.

Q    My child attended a school trip and I did not have a packed lunch substitute, will I get a refund?

A     The school should let us know of any school trips that will affect your child’s lunches. Once we have been informed we run a report and check who has chosen to have a packed lunch in place of the hot meal originally booked. If you have chosen not to have a packed lunch we will refund you for the cost of your meal. We will endeavour to refund you for the meal as soon as possible but will ensure this is done before the end of the term the trip has taken place. We do not refund before a trip in case of cancellation.

Q   Can I pay online?

A   YES, we use a safe and secure system with SagePay integrated within Meal Manager.

Q   I don’t want to pay online, what can I do?

A   We would encourage you to pay via our Meal Manager as this ensures you are in control of the booking. Our system is very safe and secure and no card details are stored or kept within Meal Manager either.

If you really don’t want to pay online you would need to contact us on We would have to take your chosen meal choices and add them manually to Meal Manager.

We won’t be accepting cheques from September 2017 so you will have to pay by cash into the school.  We will, also, need to have the cash into the office before we can take meal choices for you.

Q   My child was absent from school can I have a refund?

A   If we have been given the correct amount of notice (this is by the Tuesday the week BEFORE your child will be absent from school) to cancel the meal then yes we can refund you for your child’s absence.  If we aren’t informed of an absence within the correct notice period then we will not be able to refund you for the meal.

The reason for this is that we have to order our fresh ingredients and meat the week before and we do this according to our numbers on Meal Manager. If we don’t have notice we will also cook for your child on the day they are absent. This leads to the waste of food and we also have the cost of the ingredients. Please bear in mind that none of our meals are frozen and therefore this isn’t just a case of taking one less meal out of the freezer on the day. The perishable ingredients have to be thrown away if we over order and do not use them up.

Q   I missed the deadline where can I find when my child’s meals start?

A   In Account Home you can see the heading ‘next booked meal. Underneath this heading is the date your child’s next meal is due. Please be aware the heading ‘term‘ does not refer to the start date of your meals, this only refers to the dates of the term your plan is in.

Q    I chose my meals but the school are telling me my child isn’t on the list to eat, why not?

A     The new system has changed and we no longer have full week or Friday only terms.  You now choose your meal choices first and have to confirm your choices. If you do not confirm your choices we do not receive your order.


Q    Why are the deadlines so important?

A    We ask you to order by the Tuesday the week before as there is quite a lot of background administration involved in ordering the fresh meat and fresh ingredients for your child’s meals. We have to have a cut-off date as we have to order the meat and fresh ingredients in advance. The numbers that we take off Meal Manager are what we use to order the correct amount of ingredients. We can’t over order as this leads to waste and also a cost to us as a company. We therefore only order enough ingredients to cover those that have placed their meal choices by the set deadline date. If you order after the deadline date your child will not be down to have a meal and therefore you should provide a packed lunch until their meal choices begin.

Fresh Start Policy on forced School closure due to Bad Weather

It is Fresh Start’s Policy not to refund for school meals in the event on bad weather and school closure.  The food has been ordered and delivery for the each Schools fixed menu and cannot be reused as part of our strict working practices.

We hope this helps answer your queries. If you have any further questions, please email us on

Many thanks

The Fresh Start Team

We will try to respond within 24 to 48 hours during peak ordering times.

Fresh Start Catering Ltd

The Shed

Unit 2, Charbridge Lane



OX26 2SS

Company Registration Number: 6198481

VAT Number: 153 767 977