Comments from a mum of a Year 7: 
'My daughter is a year 7 new starter and found school quite daunting and scary in her first days last week. She did however come home raving about lunchtime and the lovely food. She told us more about the food and meals than the lessons!

'Anyway, just thought it would be good for the catering team to know that they play a big part in settling the new ones in and that a lovely lunch can help make someone's day.'

2016-17 6-week menus: click here

The school produces a wide range of freshly-cooked food each day, at very reasonable prices.  Where else in Bath can you get a two-course meal for £2.50?  A cup of coffee on the high street could well cost you more than that!  Compare our prices with those in well-known sandwich retailers and supermarkets - we are very competitive!  A Subway lunch for example costs £3.

We encourage all our students to eat school meals every day, for health reasons and for value for money.  Price and quality go hand in hand at Ralph Allen School.

Ralph Allen School Catering Team

The first photo on the right shows Mrs Debbie Ovens, Catering Manager (centre), Mrs Mel Tavener, Cook in charge (right), and Mrs June Fenton, Cook (left).

The other members of the team are Mrs Gard, Miss Hallsworth, Mrs Leakey, Mrs Lewis, Ms Jacob and Ms Whittemore. 


Local suppliers are used as much as possible.  Currently our main suppliers are as follows:

Jones Food Solutions, Charlton Lane, Midsomer Norton, Radstock  BA3 4SB.

A family business established in 1911 by Catherine Lucy Jones and still run by members of the same family.  Their butchery dept ensures locally sourced and award winning meat, full traceability and a five star hygiene rating.  Jones works closely with local farmers and companies who supply their products and have built a better understanding, trust and connection with them to ensure quality produce.  

A David, Hillside Farm, Sutton Wick, Bristol BS39 5XR.

Fruit and vegetables, locally sourced wherever possible.  A food service distribution company that has been suplying the catering industry around Bristol and the South West for the past 50 years.

Bath Bakery.

Suppliers of bread and sandwiches.  Bath Bakery says, 'All our food is made by highly-trained artisan bakers at our very own production facilities in Cheltenham Street, Bath, Farrington Gurney and Corsham, combining a blend of traditional and modern techniques and using only the finest ingredients sourced as locally as possible. Food Miles Matter to us.'

School Meal Services

Suppliers of milk.


Lunchtime for students 

Lunch is  either immediately before, during or after period 4. There are 3 lunch sittings as follows: -

Early lunch: 12:30 – 1:10. If a student is on early lunch, period 4 will be from 1:10 – 2:10

Middle lunch: 1 – 1:40. If a student is on middle lunch, they will have the first part of period 4 from 12:30 – 1. At 1pm they will then go to lunch & they will then return to the second half of period 4, which will run from 1:40 – 2:10.

Late lunch: 1:30 – 2:10. If a student is on late lunch, period 4 will be from 12:30 – 1:30.

For all students period 5 will start at 2:10pm.

Please note, the lunch rota changes in Term 4.  Details are below: 


Years 8 & 11

 Years 7 & 9

Years 10,12 & 13

Terms 4, 5 & 6





  • The only exception to this is that PE groups and DT groups due to have middle lunch can switch to late lunch.
  • Students will be on lunch when period 4 lessons are going on, and the need for students on lunch to be quiet in corridors outside rooms where lessons are going on & to stay away from PE lessons happening on the field is important.
  • Sixth Form students can go for lunch from 12.30pm.


Catering at Ralph Allen School

Ralph Allen School food is of a very high standard and is all cooked on the premises using fresh ingredients and sourced from local suppliers.

In the food premises inspection, carried out by the Senior Environmental Health Officer on 17 September 2014, the kitchen received Level 5,  the highest level, for its food hygiene.  The report said, 'Good standards were being maintained and no issues were identified.'

The school was awarded the Healthy Schools Certificate in December 2012 and is currently working towards the Bronze Award for the Food for Life Partnership.  We have certificates of farm assurance for all meat and eggs used.  We also have declarations from our suppliers that no products contain undesirable additives, GM or trans fats ingredients.  No fish from the MCS fish to avoid list is served.

We use wholemeal flour in the making of our pastry and dough for all homemade dishes.  We do not use salt in any of our cooking, and the kitchen is a nut-free zone to minimise risk to children with nut allergies.

Food is served in the dining hall and the Snack Shack at the following times:

Dining Hall

11.05-11.25am - Break-time service for all students & staff

12.30-2pm - Lunch-time service for all students & staff: selected times for different year groups

After school - catering for events


Snack Shack

Open all day, from 8.15am-2pm

8.15-8.40am - Breakfast Club

11.05-11.25am - break-time service for Years 11, sixth form and staff (different year groups may be able to buy break-time snacks at different times of the year, according to demand)

12.30-2pm - Lunch-time service for students & staff

Parent Feedback

We would love feedback from parents about the lunch menu and other  food at Ralph Allen School.  Please email your comments to Mrs Caroline Holden, School Manager:  For example, what is your child's favourite meal?  What would your child like to see more of on the menu?  What else could we serve in the Snack Shack? 

Enquiries about catering at Ralph Allen School: please contact Mrs Debbie Ovens, Catering Manager,

Breakfast service:

Fresh fruit 45p

Assorted cereals 50p

Yoghurt 50p

Fruit juice 25p

Milk 40p

Bacon sandwich £1.20

Sausage sandwich £1.20

Tea, coffee, hot chocolate - 60p


Lunchtime service:

Pasta bar daily

e.g. Spaghetti bolognaise with mixed salad £1.90

Salad bar daily

Assorted sandwiches, wraps, freshly prepared salads

Main meals daily on 6-week menu

e.g. Chicken fricassee, savoury rice with broccoli and apple & blackberry cobbler with custard – £2.50


The school also provides regular catering for two local church groups and other local community groups.

Christmas Lunches

We are delighted to provide Christmas lunches for the school community and those in the wider community around us.  This year we served Christmas meals for the following:

Combe Down Primary School at Ralph Allen School

Holy Trinity Church, Combe Down - lunch for church members

Ralph Allen School students and staff

St Luke's Church

Peggy Dodds Centre

Help the Aged drop in centre - lunches on two days