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Safer Lunchtimes

SAFER LUNCHTIMES – COVID 19

Combining the success of our Social Distancing Lunchtime Guidance and our hugely successful Better Lunchtimes Mark, our experienced team will be helping schools achieve their Safer Lunchtimes Mark. 

Here at School Health UK we recognise the challenges that you as a school are currently facing to ensure the safety of your pupils and staff during this unprecedented time.

Adjusting to the ‘new normal’ has involved significant adaptations to the whole of the school day, including trying to provide a safe lunchtime environment which remains enjoyable for everyone involved.

We have had lengthy discussions with schools across the country, to hear concerns from the leaders on the ground about implementing the government guidance for social distancing. A recurring theme is the lack of support for ensuring the entire school day is as safe as possible, with little direction for how already unstructured periods should now be managed with all pupils returning (i.e. lunchtimes).

From our experience of working to improve hundreds of lunchtimes, we know that they can be a particularly challenging time of the day. But now, more than ever, it is important to ensure pupils and staff feel safe and happy during this time.

In March, we created Social Distancing Lunchtime Guidance which 300 schools across the UK used to embed safer lunchtimes during the summer term. But with all pupils returning to school this autumn, providing an enjoyable and safe lunchtime experience for all will become trickier. Combining the success of our Social Distancing Lunchtime Guidance and our hugely successful Better Lunchtimes Mark, our experienced team will be helping schools achieve their Safer Lunchtimes Mark.

The Safer Lunchtimes Mark programme will allow you as a school to confidently support all of your pupils in having the healthy, enjoyable and nurturing lunchtime experience they need to flourish, despite these strange times that have disrupted their routines. We also support your lunchtime staff through providing a more relaxed and enjoyable working environment, and optimising their presence in both the dining space and the playground.

Through visiting your school, or hosting a virtual meeting, we will work with you as the school leaders to establish a safer and better lunchtime, and provide solutions to the challenges you are facing. 

With our support you will be able to successfully implement your personalised Safer Lunchtimes Action Plan, and receive a Kite Mark to display in your dining space evidencing your Safer Lunchtime.

But what do Safer Lunchtimes look like?

Staggered lunchtimes which enable social distancing

The promotion of good hygiene at all times

Identifying and tackling germ “hot spots”

Creating a clear flow of movement around dining space, and no busy queues

All pupils have the opportunity to eat nutritious meals

Efficient allocation of staff roles indoors and outdoors

Suitable outdoor activities to promote activity and development

Safer Lunchtimes are enjoyable for all

For flexibility during these times, you can choose from either*:

Option A

Physical support, in which we visit your school and take in all the required information during one lunchtime. Including a comprehensive report, debrief, same day solutions and an action plan.


Option B

Virtual support, in which you complete a comprehensive questionnaire to provide us with all the information we need to know to build a picture of your school and your lunchtime to enable us to create your personalised Safer Lunchtimes Action Plan.


In addition to your Safer Lunchtimes visit (physical or virtual), we can also provide ongoing support to tackle any future disruptions to this essential time of the school day, with our Better Lunchtimes Mark programme.

*Spaces are limited.

Get in touch if your school needs a Better Lunchtime.