Bedford Borough Council will end its contract to procure school meals, on behalf of schools, at the end of the 2023-24 academic year.
Children who receive free school meals will not be affected.
The move comes after the potential savings on offer to schools by being part of a larger contract are no longer being realised. This can be seen by the current contract being higher than the capped meal price published at tender.
Schools will now be able to decide between providing their own school meals service or buying this in from an external provider. This gives schools more choice as to what would best meet their needs and the needs of the community they serve.
Bedford Borough Council will offer guidance and support to current contract schools with their meal procurement, and discussions have already begun with school leaders.
A council spokesperson said: “Most local education authorities no longer procure meals on behalf of schools, and this move will bring us into line with the majority of other councils across the country.”