The latest menus can be downloaded using the links on the left.

At Thurstable, we encourage our students to make use of the catering facilities. In order to have a very speedy service we now have 3 outlets at break and 4 outlets for lunch. This is to enable the students to choose a nutritious meal quickly and at the same time encourage more social interaction. We encourage students to make healthier meal choices and they are able to sit in our Dining Room or weather permitting on the many outdoor seating areas. All food is freshly baked or steamed in our very modern kitchen. We have water coolers in the dining area and other key areas and encourage all students to bring reusable water bottles to fill during break times so that they keep well hydrated throughout the day.

We have one break and lunch time for all students which is why we have invested in two external outlets along with the main servery all offering hot and cold food along with a healthy range of drinks. At lunch we have added a new outlet which offers cold food and drinks only. More students than ever are choosing to eat in school at break and lunch time.

A main meal costs £2.40. All kitchen staff wear suitable protection for both themselves and our students. If a student has a special dietary requirement, parents should inform the school in writing so that any necessary arrangements can be made. All food is clearly labelled with allergen advice.

ParentPay cashless system

The canteen offers a cashless system. Please ensure your child has sufficient funds on their account each day, this can be done by accessing the parent pay site. The daily spending limit for all students is set by their parents/carers. Each student has their own account and money can be added by logging onto the ParentPay site and making a payment online using a credit or debit card. It is also possible to pay for other items such as school trips using this method. Students not in receipt of FSM have access to a £2.40 overdraft, if used it needs to be repaid within 5 days, and cannot be used again until repaid.

If you do not wish for your child to have access to the overdraft, or would like to amend their daily limit please contact the catering manager,  Miss Samantha Harrington via email on

We are no longer accepting cash and cheque payments except only in an emergency,making the school a cash-free environment. Parents who need to continue making payments by cash may do so using the PayPoint network at local convenience stores.

Unique ParentPay account activation details have been communicated to parents/carers. If you have any queries about ParentPay, please contact:

Some useful links are:


Free School Meals

The free school meal entitlement is £2.40. It is credited to the student’s lunch account on a daily basis. This amount can only be spent on that day at break or lunch time.  (NB. Any unspent allowance will not be transferred to the following day). Additional money can be added to the student’s account by the method mentioned above by parents/carers.

To Apply Click Here:

Healthy eating

At Thurstable, our main aims are to embed healthier eating habits. We have been accredited with the Healthy Eating Award for many years and are delighted to announce that we are one of the first schools in Essex to gain the TuckIN Award designed to encourage schools to have a healthy food offering for students and staff.

Parents/carers can view the meal choices that students have made through their ParentPay account, allowing them to have a conversation regarding their choices. With guidance from home and at school, we hope to improve the way students are eating and the habits they form.


If there are any catering issues, disputes or limits that need to be changed on your child's dinner card please contact: