We believe that in order to learn well, a student must be fed well. The mind cannot be filled with information when the stomach is empty! Therefore, we take great pride in the quality of food that we offer at the Academy.

We work closely with Autograph, our providers, to ensure the best quality food at the most reasonable cost. We use the School Food Plan to ensure this and to create an ethos of Healthy Eating.

How we support the School Food Plan:
  • Our current ‘whole-school’ food policy adopts the School Food Plan as its standard. This is shared through our websites
  • We quality assure that all our food complies with the Food Plan through a checklist held in the kitchen, whilst every dish on our menus is processed and checked by a nutritionist
  • School meal take-up is monitored weekly and students and their parents are challenged over take-up of free school meals
  • A federated senior leader is responsible for the provision across both The Hastings Academy and The St Leonards Academy. He liaises with the Leadership Teams, Autograph and the student bodies
  • Both Academies are holders of the Gold Eat Well Award and the kitchens are proud to maintain the Environmental Health 5 Star Award for hygiene. We are currently working towards further accreditation with the Silver Food for Life Award
Food Provision:
  • We are proud that we provide an attractive, happy and calm dining environment, which we are constantly seeking to improve despite the popularity of our restaurants making them busy environments
  • We work hard at maintaining excellent, professional and happy relationships between the catering staff and our students and staff
  • We have introduced student surveys and secret eater programmes and involve parents through Parents Forum to ensure we listen to what our customers want. We constantly review the layout and provision in an attempt to improve the quality of the food, reduce queueing times and improve the eating environment
  • We operate a cashless payment system to reduce both stigma for free school meal students and queues for all
  • Water is freely available for students in the restaurant
Food and Health Education:
  • We present consistent messaging about healthy cooking, eating and lifestyles across subjects
  • Both academies have fully equipped classrooms for the teaching of Food and Catering, which form a key part of the KS3 curriculum and is traditionally both a popular and successful subject at KS4
  • Schemes of work focus on healthy savoury cooking
  • Beyond the taught curriculum, extra-curricular activities, assemblies, displays and messaging all re-enforce positive messages around healthy eating and lifestyles, and we see our academies as supporting and developing an increasingly powerful culture of exercise and healthy eating

If you have any questions, regarding the promotions or any other information on this page, please do not hesitate to contact the Academy for further information.

Free School Meals
Who can claim Free School Meals?

If you are in receipt of Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (income based), Employment and Support Allowance (income related), Pension Credit, Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 or Child Tax Credit (without Working Tax Credit) with an annual income of under £16,190 per year you are entitled to Free School Meals for your children.

How to claim Free School Meals

To claim Free School Meals East Sussex County Council requires that the parents of all children starting at a school complete a form (even if they received this assistance at their previous school). You can complete East Sussex FM1 form online at: or download the attached form at the bottom of this page. All your children should be included on the one form, regardless of which school they attend.

ESCC has an Electronic Checking Service which may be able to confirm entitlement, but if not, you may need to show the Academy up-to-date written proof that you meet the qualifying criteria. The form can also be authorised by JobCentre Plus at Heron House, London Road, St Leonards on Sea or at The Hastings Academy before your children start with us.

Getting your Free School Meal in school

The Hastings Academy operates a cashless canteen whereby lunch will be given without the need to purchase by cash at the till.

Your son/daughter will be required to register on the system and once the Free School Meals have been set up they will simply need to scan their finger print to receive their lunch. The use of the cashless system also means that at no point will your child be identified as having Free School Meals to other students in the Academy.

Please note that until your child has been registered on our system and their entitlement has been confirmed, they will not be able to claim their Free School Meal and so you will need to make other arrangements for their lunch, e.g. a packed lunch.

If you have any queries please contact Student Reception at The Hastings Academy or Children Services at County Hall, Lewes on 0300 3309472.

East Sussex FM1 free school application form
Hardship Fund

The Hastings Academy has established a fund to assist students who are in receipt of Free School Meals or Pupil Premium. The fund has been set up to supplement the purchase of essential school uniform and equipment as well as enabling students to participate in curriculum-based activities and trips.

Assistance will normally be limited to a percentage of the total cost of the activity/item. Please note that we do not accept applications for financial support after the item you wish to claim for has been purchased.

Making a request for financial support

A Hardship Fund application form is available to download below and from the school reception. In order for us to process your request please send your completed application form and supporting evidence to Mr Snelling If you wish to discuss your case before applying please contact Mr Snelling.

All matters will be dealt with in the strictest confidence and all applications on their individual merits.

The deadline for all uniform requests is July 1st each year.

Hardship Fund Application Form

The menu changes each term, with new exciting and nutritious choices. We regularly offer special meal deals and offers as well as catering to match important dates, events and festivals.

School Food Plan
breakfast menu View Food Plan
Our Provider

Our catering is supplied and managed by Autograph.

Visit the Autograph site View Intro
Cashless Catering

We operate Cashless Catering and other smart systems.

ParentPay registration. Click here to register and manage your child’s catering account

ParentPay View FAQ