We provide nutritionally balanced food and offer a varied menu, tailoring our menus to the students’ needs.  Menu options are discussed with our students. Meals are prepared using fresh ingredients daily. Our three weekly lunch menu cycle includes:

  • meat or fish
  • vegetarian choices
  • salad bar
  • variety of desserts both hot and chilled

A full and varied menu is available from our Dining Hall with a breakfast service before school, break time and lunch time service.  There is a variety of food offered every day, ranging from sandwiches to a hot cooked meal.  A meal deal is offered which includes a variety of main courses, the pudding of the day or fruit and a drink.  Tabor Academy operates a biometric cashless catering system and students will be instructed on how to use this on their Induction Days in June.

Cashless Catering

We have a biometric cashless system for the catering service which has significantly reduced the time taken to pay for meals. When a student has chosen their food they will scan their finger at the till point and the value of their food will be deducted from their account balance.

The student’s fingerprint itself is not stored by the computer system and cannot be used for identification purposes. During the account creation the system uses an image of the fingerprint to create a mathematical algorithm and then discards the finger-print; only the numbers remain and these cannot be reinterpreted back into a fingerprint image.

Initially students will need to top-up their account using one of the two cash top-up units around the Academy, which will accept banknotes or £2 – £1 – 50p – 20p – 10p coins. We also have ParentPay which allows you to top-up your child’s account using a credit/debit card through a secure website.

Students who receive free Academy meals will receive their allowance (as a credit to their account) at the start of the day and will be able to spend it at break and/or lunch time. Any of the allowance that is not spent will be lost at the end of the day. Students are also able to top-up their account if they wish to spend more than the free Academy meal allowance, but the Academy meal allowance will be used first.

There is a daily spend limit programmed into the system of £5, this can be increased or decreased for an individual pupil by making a written request to the Academy Finance Department.

Once students have been registered they can credit their account from their first day at Tabor Academy.

To apply for free Academy meals via the Essex County Council website please click here or telephone 0845 603 2200.

About our Caterers

harrisonsThe catering service at is provided by Harrison Catering Services. Since its founding in 1994, Harrison has always been about quality fresh food prepared on-site and served by people who love what they do. Over 100 clients across the UK enjoy a Harrison foodservice, with more than 100,000 meals being served each day by approximately 2,000 staff across more than 270 locations.

Harrison understands that what children eat affects their health and their ability to learn and perform in the classroom. At Tabor our catering team provides nutritious, balanced meals, and we work to educate the pupils on how to make healthier food choices. Our goal is to instil a love and understanding of fresh, healthy food at a young age that will positively influence them throughout life.

All Harrison staff receive training in how to prepare and serve healthier food through the company’s bespoke Eat Well Live Well© training programme.


Our catering team at Tabor works with the school council to tailor menus to the tastes and preferences of the pupils. We introduce further interest and excitement to our menus through themed lunches ranging from holidays like Easter and Christmas to cuisines from around the world, tying these into the school curriculum whenever possible.