Many canteens in WA schools are operated by the parent body i.e. the Parents and Citizens Association (P&C) in government schools and Parents and Friends (P&F) in non-government schools.
WASCA has many resources for parent bodies to guide them in ensuring that their school canteen not only provides a healthy profitable food service that is compliant with the Department of Education’s Healthy Food and Drink Policy but also contribute to creating a healthy environment in the school.
We have also developed a range of compliance checklists with a specific Parent Body checklist that covers everything you need to know about complying with the policy.
If your school has decided to investigate opening a canteen/food service we encourage you to download our step-by-step guide to Starting a new canteen/food service.
The Western Australian Council of State School Organisations Inc. (WACSSO)
WACSSO is the peak body representing parents of public school children in Western Australia. WACSSO’s role is to provide information on governance, and running a successful P&C.
WACSSO has also produced an employment guide for P&C Associations plus a P&C Canteen health check, see how healthy your canteen is by completing this simple 10 question ‘health check‘.
The 2020 WACSSO P&C Handbook is an annual essential guide to running an effective P&C association. The 2020 edition is the first to fully comply with the P&C Constitution 2019. To access the Handbook visit the “Resources” page of the WACSSO website.
Canteen committee guidelines and terms of reference
Having a Canteen Committee can enhance the way your canteen operates and ensures good governance. Download our Canteen Committee terms of reference which can be adapted to suit the needs of your school.
Developing positive working relationships
There are a number of documents that can assist in ensuring good communication and business operations exist between the employer (e.g.parent body/school) and employee (e.g. Canteen Supervisor):
- Parent Body Check-in: sometimes employers want to engage with the canteen but don’t know where to start. This tool will help to check in with staff, ensure best practice procedures are followed and assist in making plans for the future
- Action plan template: an editable document that can assist the canteen to decide what plans for change are being made, how they will be achieved and by whom
- Canteen report to parent body template: an editable template canteen staff can use to provide regular reports to their employer e.g. monthly/bi-monthly reports to be presented at parent body meetings.
WASCA presented a webinar at the 2020 WACSSO Conference titled ‘Running a canteen- easy to digest’. The resources above were a focus of this webinar, we encourage to watch it on the eCanteens page.
Staff review template is a great resource for employers (e.g. Parent body) and employees (canteen staff and/or volunteers) to reflect on the school canteen operations, staff performance and set goals that will benefit the whole school community.
Canteen Supervisor/staff sample interview questions can help to ensure the person most suited to the advertised position is employed.
Having a written job description for all staff is essential. Job descriptions provide brief overview of the role, how it relates to your school/canteen vision, and a list of key responsibilities, requirements and qualifications. The job description spells out what is expected of the employee and provides the direction to achieve successful job performance. This sample should be used as a guide only and adapted accordingly. Care should be taken to follow all Award and other Industrial Relations conditions.
Fundraising in schools provides much needed funds which can contribute to classroom resources, books for the library, school camps, sporting equipment and other resources.
While fundraising activities in public school undertaken by the P&C are not included in the scope the Healthy Food and Drink Policy it is pleasing that many schools are adopting a whole school approach to healthy eating and seeking healthier alternatives. Advocating for healthy fundraising within the school community can seem like a daunting task. WASCA has developed an Advocating for healthy fundraising template to make this easier. This template focuses on Easter egg raffles, but is easily edited to suit the situation or activity in your school, as well as the target audience
Healthier fundraisers can:
- complement nutrition, health and physical activity messages taught in the classroom
- reinforce the work of canteens/food services
- form part of a supportive environment for children’s health
- provide personal satisfaction of being a positive role model
- support the HFD policy.
For a complete list of ideas and suggestions download our fundraising kit.
Most schools will have a sausage sizzle as a fundraiser throughout the school year, they are a quick and effective way to raise funds. For a successful and healthy sausage sizzle see our Sausage Sizzle fact sheet. There is also information on how you can make the next election day ‘sizzle’ a success.
School events that the Principal is directly responsible for such as sports carnivals, class parties, theme days and open days must comply with the Department of Education’s Healthy Food and Drink Policy. Parent body events such as fundraising and discos are encouraged to comply.
When organising your next event aim for green choices!
Just Pizza Company’s range of ready-made focaccia based pizzas are classified as green, are easy to heat and serve and can be cut into various sizes – perfect for special event days. Just Pizza Company can deliver to your school, and no account is needed, making the healthy choice the easy choice. Contact Just Pizza Company for more information.
The Healthy Food and Drink (HFD) Catering Guidelines have been developed to provide guidance to WA schools when organising events such as:
- Staff training courses, workshops and meetings
- Meetings or forums with an education or business focus
- Official events, such as program launches and awards nights
- Graduations and open nights
- School community events, such as P&C functions.
The Guidelines provide lots of useful tips and recipe links to make catering for any event easy and healthy.
Healthy School Healthy Student – a guide for parent bodies
The purpose of this resource is to make suggestions and provide practical tips to parent bodies on how they can contribute to the creation of a healthy environment at their school whilst supporting the Department of Education’s Healthy Food and Drink (HFD) policy. You can download a copy of the Healthy School Healthy Student guide or contact WASCA for a hard copy.
Conducting a survey can be a great way of ensuring you are meeting the needs of the school community. Use our Canteen survey for students to gather information to inform your menu decisions. The questions in this template are aimed at students, we have an additional Canteen survey for parents and staff.
- Why aren’t we making a profit
- Promotion ideas in the canteen
- Setting menu prices
- Winding down for the end of the school year