Nutrition and Feeding

Catering for students' dietary needs

The provision of appetising, nutritionally-balanced meals is key to helping students achieve and stay fit and healthy. Thanks to a £2.8 million investment in our catering and dining complex, our facilities are excellent. Mealtimes are a chance to socialise and choose from a range of food options that are freshly prepared on the premises. Our catering team prepares over 500 meals a day to suit differing tastes, diets and requirements.

A number of our students have specific dietary requirements and our chefs are happy to produce meals for these particular health needs such as: diabetes, dairy or gluten-free, low or higher calorie, pureed or minced food, as well as kosher, vegetarian and halal diets. We provide equipment for students who have difficulty eating. Staff are sensitive to students' needs and understand that some students may require assistance and extra time to eat. Our chefs have recently introduced the use of moulds for individual pureed foods. Please see an example of a moulded pureed food plate at the top of this page.

Our team of experienced state registered dietitians work closely with our care, medical, therapy and catering staff to advise on appropriate menus and monitor students' nutritional status in relation to their growth, development and changing needs. The dietitians liaise with parents and external health professionals involved in a student’s care to make sure that the student's dietary care and support is consistent.

We have a nutritional support team that includes a speech therapist who is an expert on dysphagia (chewing and swallowing difficulties). All students have at least one assessment by this team within each academic year to ensure that the food and fluids they are having are appropriate. The nutritional support team runs training sessions for all care staff on feeding skills and the importance of nutrition.

Student involvement is positively encouraged at all times especially through the termly food forum and nutrition week. During nutrition week the dietitians organise activities and interactive displays for students and staff.

"Students were supported to eat a healthy diet with a variety of cafeteria and self-catering options which were adapted to their physical needs". CQC report, 2017