Yes the new lunch system has been a source of angst in our house! It's the same as KES so I feel I can comment on that. Last year (last year of the old system), DS1 was very happy with school lunches. He actually came home still full from lunch
which had never been the case in primary school.
We opted him "in" for the Autumn term of the new system and it became clear pretty early on that the new menus weren't for him. Agree it is expensive too, and lacks flexibility depending on what DS1 is doing that day, although at KES they say you can use it up at break time which was made later in the morning as boys are just so busy over the lunch break. I could manage the expense if he was actually eating and happy but a point came towards the end of the Autumn Term when we had paid and he was bringing in food from home. Needless to say he is now opted "out" but at least he is eating even if it is food from home
. Some of his friends are a bit, ahem, annoyed with their parents for "forcing" them to eat school dinners, especially the ones on FSM, as they would prefer packed lunches/food flasks.
Mike, even I spluttered out my tea reading your comment about CHB science teachers
One girl we know who has accepted is a very accomplished musician, among other things, won National competitions, on YouTube etc and I know that was a large factor for her.