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Eating at the College


Pabulum, the College’s caterers, provide healthy hot and cold food at break and lunch time.

Pabulum’s Vision is to be at the forefront of improving the next generation’s health and well-being, by shaping the food culture in education that inspires a passion and love of fresh food – without compromise.

Pabulum were awarded ‘Education Caterer of the Year’ at the Foodservice Cateys. This is regarded as the “Oscars” of the catering industry.

We feel so strongly about educating the younger generation on healthy eating by providing fresh and wholesome food, as it’s through a balanced diet and healthy food choices that students can maintain higher classroom concentration levels. 94% of our food is freshly prepared in Cottenham Academy kitchen and 75% of the food is British and locally sourced.

At Cottenham  we have a dedicated Pabulum team led by Robert Lipman, Catering Manager. Robert and his team provide fresh food through the provision of morning break and lunch service.

At morning break you can expect to see a range of wraps, filled baguettes and bloomer bread sandwiches accompanied by fresh fruit and homemade yoghurt. There is always a wide variety of options for lunch service including a variety of freshly prepared main meals and tasty vegetarian alternatives, with a range of hot and chilled grab and go products, and our extensive street food offer.

The menus are available on line via this link.

To find out more about Pabulum, our suppliers or our company initiatives then please check out our website at for the latest blogs and news stories, or alternatively you can call us on 01252 819991.

Cashless Catering

We operate a cashless catering system.  Students who are not registered can register at Students Services during break or lunchtime.

Accounts are managed on-line here: cashless catering (ParentMail).

Please click here to see a useful FAQs sheet



Free School Meals

You can make an application on-line to Cambridgeshire County Council for free school meals.  Their system will check your child’s entitlement to free school meals and if they are eligible for the secondary school clothing allowance.  To apply, please follow this link: Cambridgeshire County Council Free School Meals.

Alternatively, paper copies are available from Student Services or contact the Education Welfare Benefits service on 01223 703200.

Letter sent to parents/guardians 28th September 2015

Dear Parents/Carers

Is your child entitled to a free school meal?

Children from households with lower incomes may be entitled to free school meals. Please note that if your child was already receiving free school meals at the end of the 2014/2015 school year, their entitlement will continue and you do not need to re-apply for the new 2015/2016 school year.

School children who are eligible for free school meals are entitled to a two course meal worth £2.35 each day and will save around £400 per year per child.

Our cashless catering system automatically adds daily credit of £2.35 to your child’s account, which can be spent at break or lunch time. The system does not identify the pupil as receiving free school meals when paying for their meal, so the process is completely private. Additional money can also be added to top-up their account or pay for other activities – as with any other pupil.

When you apply for free school meals, you will also allow your school to receive Pupil Premium – extra money to support children from families on lower incomes.

Please note – even if you do not use the free school meal allowance, the school benefits, so if you can apply, we urge you to do so.

Who is eligible?

All children who are at school under 19 at the start of the academic year (4 September 2015) and are claiming or have parents who are claiming one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit but who are not entitled to working tax credit and whose annual income (assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) does not exceed £16,190
  • Guarantee element of state pension credit

How to apply

You can apply online or find more information at:

You can also complete the attached form and return it by: post, email or hand it into school in a sealed envelope (we will send it on for you).

Free School Meals Application Form

Please follow this link to download the form for Pupil Premium Funding Pupil-Premium-Funding