Sustaining school dinner standards

St Leonards is a co-ed independent school in the inspiring university town of St Andrews and the leading IB school in Scotland. Like an army marching on its stomach, a school needs the highest standards of nutrition for its pupils and staff to perform well, and St Leonards is 100% committed to being best-in-class for school food.

Research Task

Before a new catering company was appointed, a survey was carried out with parents to establish their perceptions of school food. The aim of the research was to set a benchmark for the new caterers to improve on the ratings and ensure that satisfaction with the standard of food continued to rise.

Research Method

Informal discussions were held with parents to let them tell us about the issues that concerned them, and from this information a questionnaire was drawn up, tested and set up as an online self-completion survey. The survey was repeated a year later and the results analysed to identify changes in how the catering was now perceived.

Research Results

The survey showed a hugely encouraging set of results with significant improvements across every performance criteria. It highlighted where work still needed to be done, notably communicating to parents the extent of catering activities and efforts, and massively raised the morale and commitment of the catering staff.