To think that school children (secondary) shouldn't be allowed to lave school at lunchtime

(93 Posts)
BeeInYourBonnet Fri 07-Mar-14 07:17:36

I drive past my local shops at lunchtime every day, and without fail the chip shop, bakery and kebab shop are full of children from the local secondary school. Its not unusual to see up to 50 teenagers, and when I've been close enough to see (when I am stopping at shops too) they are all without fail eating big pizza slices, pasties, chips, or kebabs. Almost one has a plastic tray of some kind, full of greasy food.

When I was a teenager, we weren't allowed out of school at lunchtime without a note from parents saying we were going home for lunch. When did this stop, and isn't letting kids eat shit at lunchtime contributing to obesity and reinforcing bad eating habits, when actually secondary school is a time when we can make one last ditch attempt to encourage good eating habits?

Lovehorror Fri 07-Mar-14 07:21:15

At my children's school only year 11 are allowed out for lunch.

Artandco Fri 07-Mar-14 07:23:43

Why should everyone be banned just because some are buying fast food during that time?

MarianneEnjolras Fri 07-Mar-14 07:23:49

You'd have a point if the school wasn't also serving shit at lunch time.

I ate chips and gravy (just that, nothing else) every day at high school. There usually wasn't anything else left in the canteen anyway.

I probably ate better on the days I went to the chip shop as I could have fish or or to the bakery and ate a meat pie or cheese and onion pasty!

Only year 10-13 are allowed out at DCs school.

They have to have a form filled in by parents to say they have permission to "go home" for lunch in year 10/11

Mine don't bother. Dd because its too far to walk to the shops and it's too expensive.
And ds1 because he doesn't want to spend his own money buying lunch when he can get a lunch from home for free grin

katrina81 Fri 07-Mar-14 07:25:20

At my daughter's school none of the years are allowed out, not even year 11.

saidnooneever Fri 07-Mar-14 07:27:12

Our local school stopped the pupils going out about 4 years ago. Before then it was exactly how you described at the local shops.

I was forever ringing the school up as many would throw thier pizza boxes etc over garden fences. The rubbish in the street was terrible.

Electryone Fri 07-Mar-14 07:27:38

When my DS was at secondary school he left the school fir lunch every day, yes initially he had chips etc but soon started going to a local cafe and had things like soup, Panini etc so not all kids go for unhealthy stuff!

CalamitouslyWrong Fri 07-Mar-14 07:29:59

My secondary school let us out at lunchtime. We are mostly cheap crisps as far as I can remember. We're all fine.

I don't think they could have catered for us in the dinner hall if people hadn't gone to the local shops. As it was you'd spend most of lunchtime in the queue and then sometimes they'd insist you threw away half your lunch because lunchtime was over by the time you'd bought something, found a table and eaten anything.

noblegiraffe Fri 07-Mar-14 07:30:55

When I was a teenager, (1990s) we were allowed out of school for lunch/McDonalds in Y11. So the answer to 'when did this stop' must be more than 20 years ago.

NoodleOodle Fri 07-Mar-14 07:31:28


WooWooOwl Fri 07-Mar-14 07:36:33

It's not allowed at either of my dc's school until 6th form. I like it that way as there's no need for them to leave, but there's nowhere nearby for them to want to go anyway.

ginbin54 Fri 07-Mar-14 07:38:52

DSs were allowed out at lunchtime from year 11 onwards. Surely we have to let them make their own choices from that age. They used to buy cheap at lunch time but are fine, healthy young men now! Is nowhere safe from the lunch police these days?!

BikeRunSki Fri 07-Mar-14 07:40:54

We used to go to the kebab shop in the 1980s! It's not a new thing.

ginbin54 Fri 07-Mar-14 07:42:20

Crap not cheap. Blasted kindle.

MrsBennetsEldest Fri 07-Mar-14 07:42:21

If the food served at school was decent there would be no need for them to go elsewhere. The portions are too small ( teens in General have huge appetites) and if it's a large school often by the time they have queued for the best part of their lunch break the most popular meal choices have all gone.

Not all children are overweight and it's the responsibility of the parents of those that are to educate their own children regarding healthy eating.

HadABadDay2014 Fri 07-Mar-14 07:43:49

I don't blame the kids, have you seen the prices of food in secondary schools.

MyBodyIsAtemplate Fri 07-Mar-14 07:45:56

no going out until 6th form at our kids school

the junk food wouldn't bother me in the slightest as that's what most teens do. and eat a full meal at night too. it's what everyone did that I remember as a teen so no biggie.

however I think kids are safer and less likely to get into trouble on school premises. there should be no need to leave under the 6th form.

GuineaPigGaiters Fri 07-Mar-14 07:51:51

I left school in the late 80's and we were allowed out from the first year to the shops. We ate junk too.

Smoorikins Fri 07-Mar-14 07:57:41

I bet the owners of the shops that are making money from them would disagree. Think of the local economy!

blueemerald Fri 07-Mar-14 07:58:18

I work in a school where the students get breakfast club, toast and juice at break and a meal (it's such a small school that everything is made from scratch and is amazing) at lunch at for free (it's a special school with high levels of deprivation) and our year 11s still go out and buy crap at lunch time!

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 07-Mar-14 08:01:54

I started leaving school at lunch time during one of the industrial actions of the early 80s. Never went back to school lunches. My parents continued to pay for school dinner tickets which I would then sell in the school. I spent the money on cigarettes and records!

Logg1e Fri 07-Mar-14 08:02:18

The British are quite unusual in expecting schools to provide so much of what normally falls under parenting. So I ask the opposite question, why should the schools interfere with what teenagers are doing during their lunch break at all?

Kirk1 Fri 07-Mar-14 08:03:42

Our local secondary allows the yr11 out for lunch. I think the local sandwich shop would object if that stopped as a large number of them descend on the place every school lunch time. School holidays are so quiet I suspect the school children make a large fraction of their annual income.

formerbabe Fri 07-Mar-14 08:06:44

Sixth formers were allowed out at lunch in my school but that's all.

I'm amazed schools allow younger pupils out. During school hours the school is surely in loco parentis. When you hand over your children to them in the morning, you expect (or at least I would) that they would know where that child is for the entire school day.

hackmum Fri 07-Mar-14 08:08:49

I'm a child of the 70s. We were allowed out of primary school at lunchtime. Happy days.

Groovee Fri 07-Mar-14 08:11:48

I was allowed out from 1st year. We had a great wee deli who did gorgeous filled rolls.

My dd can leave school but she loves the meals at school which are under healthy schools or she comes home.

goldenlula Fri 07-Mar-14 08:14:20

When I was at secondary school 25 years ago, you were allowed out of school, I used to go home every lunchtime. I don't remember my parents sending a note in (certainly didn't carry a letter from them) and no staff checked you as you left. The chip shop and sweet shop were always full!

formerbabe Fri 07-Mar-14 08:23:54

How is it legal? I don't have kids in secondary school you have to sign something to say you have allowed them to leave at lunchtime?

cory Fri 07-Mar-14 08:32:54

in ds' school this is only allowed for upper school, i.e. students aged 14-16

seems reasonable to me: these are youngsters who would be expected to have a fair amount of freedom to move about at other times, who might well (once 15) have Saturday jobs, who travel to school and home on their own

besides, what's to stop them from buying junk food on the way into school?

and, as other posters have pointed out, school dinners mainly consist of cheap junk food these days; you can probably get a better meal down the local corner shop

LokiDokey Fri 07-Mar-14 08:33:18

My DD leaves school to go and see her 78 year old Nan who lives around the corner. In exchange for a hot cooked meal she helps out with anything that needs doing then goes back to school.
She's done that since year 7 and her brother did it before her.

Only year 11 are allowed out in her school now (I had to fight the school to let her leave) but at 16 I feel they are responsible enough to make the choice whether a slice of pizza or a cone of chips is the sensible option, and to be honest at that age they burn it off in record time anyway.

Kleinzeit Fri 07-Mar-14 08:35:36

I wish, but my DS’s school doesn’t have the facilities or space to feed them all onsite at lunchtime. Can’t be helped. And getting used to choosing his own lunch from the local snack shops, cafes and supermarkets has been quite good experience for him all in all.

OddFodd Fri 07-Mar-14 08:38:32

We used to go to the pub at lunchtime when I was at school 30 years ago (not in UK). I think chips are probably a better lunchtime diet than beer!

whois Fri 07-Mar-14 08:38:56

We weren't allowed off site without a note. Didn't stop half the school sneaking out to the fish and chip shop at lunchtime!

Doesn't seen to have done me too much harm in the long run although I was getting a decent breakfast and dinner.

If is stayed on school property I'd have bought a sausage roll and some chips anyway!

MyBodyIsAtemplate Fri 07-Mar-14 08:40:45

WorrySigh bet you still haven't confessed to your parents either.

I told dm last week that I used to hide a jacket and stilletoes in a bag behind our garden hedge and change for a night out so taking off the warm coat and shoes I had on before leaving the house at 16.

she got really huffy and cross and said I had lied to her.!

I am 50, she is 80!.

TwoThreeFourSix Fri 07-Mar-14 08:41:14

I went home everyday from year 7-11 except when I had a club. 3 or 4 friends came with me. It was a blissful escape from the constant bullying. We never went to the shops and never caused anyone any problems. I would have hated having to stay in school for lunch.

monkeymamma Fri 07-Mar-14 08:50:39

We were allowed out at lunchtime and ate some shockingly unhealthy crap. (Mmmm, sausage savouries...) One of the newsagents also sold cigarettes singly at pocket money prices, kept em in a big jar on the counter. The thing is, it did start us on the road to independence and adulthood so IMO was a necessary and good thing.

Wantsunshine Fri 07-Mar-14 08:57:01

When you were allowed out for lunch in the eighties/nineties that was the time to find somewhere to hide to try smoking or meet up with boys from neighbouring school. Do they just eat chips now?!

NigellasDealer Fri 07-Mar-14 08:58:58

kebabs and chips or a sandwich will be healthier than the slop they are served up for school dinners.
good grief my child's school has only just now got rid of the coca cola and crisp machines.

meditrina Fri 07-Mar-14 08:59:38

We were allowed out at lunchtimes. I used to save my lunch money to spend at the pub at weekends...

Stinklebell Fri 07-Mar-14 09:02:19

My DD's secondary allows them out from year 11 - although that's about to be withdrawn as they've been making a nuisance of themselves with the school's neighbours

I'm surprised the younger ones are allowed out though. I had to collect DD for an appointment at lunchtime a couple of weeks ago, I had to give written permission and collect her myself from reception, they wouldn't let her go without me

whatever5 Fri 07-Mar-14 09:03:24

Only sixth formers are allowed out at lunchtime in dd's school. I think it's the same for other schools in my area as I never see anyone in school uniform during the day.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 07-Mar-14 09:04:26

MyBodyIsAtemplate - too right, She would probably try and ground me or something (I'm 47 she is 75)

bigTillyMint Fri 07-Mar-14 09:04:39

AFAIK, only Yr 12 and 13 are allowed out at lunchtimes at the DC's school, same as when I was at school and I think the same for other schools in the area.

LokiDokey Fri 07-Mar-14 09:07:22

I was at primary in the 70's, my Nan lived just across the road from it and I was allowed to go to her for lunch. She didn't collect me, just stood on the doorstep and watched me there and back. This started when I was about 7.
Lunch would usually be Chef Sausage and Beans and a Supermousse. Good times grin

sandyballs Fri 07-Mar-14 09:07:38

No-one allowed out in my DDs secondary so they eat wedges and fizz in school instead. I was at secondary in the early 80's and only prefects were alloewd out at lunch. I used to buy a white crispy buttered roll and put a bag of crisps in it. That was my lunch every day for about 5 years. I don't remember anyone being particularly overweight though.

JammyPodger Fri 07-Mar-14 09:10:26

I think my school told us we couldn't go out until sixth form, but everyone did anyway. There was never enough room in the dining hall so if you stayed you had to sit in a sweaty classroom usually.

Orangeanddemons Fri 07-Mar-14 09:13:31

Our school serves nice meals, but they are expensive and they serve small portions. The canteen is simply not big enough to accommodate the whole school, so it takes the pressure off, if some go out of the building. Only upper school and 6th form allowed out though.

ginbin54 Fri 07-Mar-14 09:36:17

Formerbabe. As far as I remember, when they got to yr 11 we had to sign a form saying we gave permission for them to leave the premises at lunch time.

hackmum Fri 07-Mar-14 09:43:39

Chips were considered a normal lunchtime option in my day. There were three groups of kids at lunchtime: school dinners, packed lunch and "going for chips".

syllabubble Fri 07-Mar-14 09:50:00

Our local high school lets all the kids out at lunch time, they're less than a 5 minute walk from town centre and it's a nightmare - I try and steer clear. The worst part is that they take great delight in playing chicken while crossing the road - had a 12 year old boy run out in front of me the other day then stand cackling with his mates while I had heart palpitations.

The pack mentality can be quite intimidating to older people, and the rubbish left has to be seen to be believed. I also would not fancy teaching a class of teens who have lunched on a bottle of irn bru, a bag of mini eggs and a box of Tunnocks teacakes!

mummytime Fri 07-Mar-14 09:51:28

YABU - I used to go home for lunch all the way through Primary and then a lot of secondary (even when this involved me walking for most of my lunchtime).

However DCs school only allows those younger than 6th form to leave if they are going home, and their parents have to apply for a special "home" pass.

Stinklebell Fri 07-Mar-14 10:00:36

YABU - I used to go home for lunch all the way through Primary and then a lot of secondary

Leaving school to go home for lunch is one thing.

Leaving school to hang around outside the chip shop leaving mountains of litter, pressing all the door buzzers on the local elderly sheltered flats and running away, pushing each other in the road, graffiting and generally behaving like a dick is another thing entirely

Lambsie Fri 07-Mar-14 10:06:46

I was at school in the early 80's and although you weren't allowed off site everyone still did anyway - mostly to wander about eating crisps as most people couldn't afford takeaways.

mummytime Fri 07-Mar-14 10:15:07

Stinklebell - we did go to the Chippy in secondary.

Admittedly we didn't do any of the rest of it, maybe that was because there was often a van load of Riot Police parked nearby? (I went to a tough school.) If pupils are behaving in a criminal manner then the police should be called.

SomethingkindaOod Fri 07-Mar-14 10:28:53

Year 11 is allowed out at DS's school but most stay because they really do have a great canteen on site. They sell breakfast, lunch and after school sandwiches for the ones doing extra curricular stuff, apparently the food is lovely and very popular.
We were allowed from year 7 and would go to the local bakery or chippy then take it to the park. This was over 20 years ago!

Stinklebell Fri 07-Mar-14 10:41:18

mummytime. Yeah, we used to sneak out to the chippy too, that and the local bakery for their 11p hot sausage rolls

We then used to hide in the little woody copse and share 1 menthol cigarette between about 10 of us, then go back to school.

DD's high school is withdrawing the privilege for year 11 upwards to leave the school site at lunch due to the behaviour I mentioned in my previous post, and will be doing a 'home pass' that parents have to apply for - cue a whole load of parents grumbling about their little darlings' 'rights'. It's a shame they don't seem quite so concerned about their appalling behaviour hmm

ukatlast Fri 07-Mar-14 10:53:52

People saying it is not allowed in their school must be wrong as I don't believe the state has any power to stop children going home at lunchtime.

Back in the 1970s at Senior School we were allowed off the premises with a one-off signed parental consent. I found the novelty of walking into town and going to the Littlewoods Cafe wore off within a week and I went back to school lunches.

My own kids occasionally go off site but now they have extended seating in the Dining Hall prefer to stay at school. Queues there can be an issue as someone else said.

I agree that it looks awful to see hoards of teenagers eating standing up but so long as they are not misbehaving, they are entitled to do it. We do not live in a police state (yet).

So best way forward is to monitor the litter situation and make those who leave take responsibility whilst simultaneously making school a pleasant place to stay with attractive food options.

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 07-Mar-14 10:59:37

Schools have the power to set whatever rules the governors seem reasonable. They may not legally be able to prevent a child from leaving site at lunchtime just as legally they probably arnt able to prevent a child leaving to avoid a detention

But then they can invoke their disciplinary policy which can lead to exclusion for persistent/repeated offences

Dds school is in the middle of nowhere. At ds's school I think only 6th firm are allowed off site.

Remotecontrolduck Fri 07-Mar-14 11:06:57

Sixth form and possibly year 11 too I wouldn't object to, they're growing up and need to be allowed to make their own choices with regards to food. At that age they really shouldn't be misbehaving and dropping litter either!

I don't think anyone younger should really be allowed out, they do get a bit silly in large groups and it's probably better they stay in school for the duration of the day.

DrSeuss Fri 07-Mar-14 11:10:26

Our new head made a big thing of changing the logo, signage and uniform in order to improve the school's image locally. Personally, I thought preventing the kids from leaving school at lunch time so that they couldn't hang around at the local shops, outside the pub or outside nearby houses would have been more to the point. There is nothing that says Outstanding School like kids sitting on kerbs eating chips or having an entire packet of biscuits as lunch. One kid who has behavioural issues was eating sweets, biscuits and pop one day. That will doubtless aid his concentration no end!

nannynewo Fri 07-Mar-14 11:16:30

In my school we were allowed out from year 11-13. I think that inevitably children will go for the chips/pizza/pasties at first as it is a novelty and a rare chance of freedom. And secondary schools in my area had introduced healthy meals by then so it was great! But honestly, the novelty wears off. My friends and I would much prefer a salad pot or various other healthy meals and maybe treat ourselves once a fortnight to something more unhealthy. Yes, you are seeing children eating healthy. But for a lot of those it may well be their treat day. Please don't judge them all to be eating like that every day.

Blueskiesandcherrypies Fri 07-Mar-14 11:20:57

Well I think they should be allowed to go home at lunchtime and watch Neighbours. That's what kept me going through dull mornings at school smile

ShadowOfTheDay Fri 07-Mar-14 11:23:32

the school day consists of a morning session and an afternoon session...

the kids are not legally required to be there at lunchtime at all - hence all the different "rules" the school can set as they wish.. Do not assume that a school is in loco parentis for the whole school day... supervision rates DRASTICALLY reduce at lunchtime because of this...

Orangeanddemons Fri 07-Mar-14 13:29:02

Also, it is very very difficult to get lunchtime supervisors in a secondary school. And as the person above said, this is often a problem at lunch times in secondaries. It is often easier if the kids go off site at dinnertime

Owllady Fri 07-Mar-14 13:30:51

We were allowed out at lunchtime when I was at school, surely it's not that unusual

WeAllHaveWings Fri 07-Mar-14 13:46:09

I was at school in the early 80's and left school to buy single cigarettes my lunch. the alternative was pie/chips/beans or spam fritter every day.

innisglas Fri 07-Mar-14 14:18:31

Not all schools were the same. I'm 60 and we were always allowed out at lunchtime from the day we started secondary school.

cory Fri 07-Mar-14 15:12:07

Surely in loco parentis means just that: being in the place of the parent, doing the job they would be doing if they were there.

As a parent, I don't watch over my teenager 24/7, I do allow him out unaccompanied, I don't hover over him when he goes to the shops.

So if these people are standing in for me, I don't have a problem with them letting him out occasionally. It is for me to to teach him to eat sensibly.

Catloverandmum Fri 07-Mar-14 16:55:26

My dc's school used to allow them out in y11, it was too far to walk home for my two but DD used to go to the greggs at the top of town once a week and DS used to walk to my BIL's house to walk his dog and make a sandwich which is next door to their old school.

In 6th Form DD was very often on a "study period" before lunch so would walk home at break and then go back during lunchtime for 4th period. She'd make herself a sandwich or a tin of soup.

Never did either of them any harm. Both have graduated from University with good degrees, and can make healthy choices about food in adult life.

cricketballs Fri 07-Mar-14 16:59:01

The first secondary school I worked at was in the middle of a large housing estate and students were allowed to 'go home' if they had parents permission. It's amazing how many had permission and didn't go home but the local chippy! My current school only 6th form are allowed off site, but we are close to 2 other secondary schools, many of our students are from out of the area so it makes sense

Finola1step Fri 07-Mar-14 17:02:57

I left school in 1990. All were allowed out at lunch except the year 7s. Looking back, the school simply didn't have the facilities to cater for 600 girls at lunch.

Some used to go to the chip ship. Some went home. My friends and I would go to the local bakers and get freshly made sandwiches/ rolls and soup. So on balance, probably better than the pizza and chips served at school.

My ds is only 6. But I don't think I want him roaming the streets from Year 7. But I do think its extreme to not allow the year 11's out.

fatlazymummy Fri 07-Mar-14 17:16:35

Another child of the 70's here.
We were allowed off the school premises - in fact for a while everyone had to leave during lunch time as the teachers worked to rule.
From age 15 I didn't really have lunch - we used to spend our dinner money on fags, which the local newsagents happily sold to us without ever questioning our age.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Fri 07-Mar-14 17:22:19

We don't let anyone out unless their parents sign to say they are supervising them over lunchtime. Of course, a lot of these parents have no intention of doing so and just let their kids wander up to the fish shop - so we withdraw the pass and they complain...

bemusedisnottheword Fri 07-Mar-14 17:24:23

ukatlast I'm certainly not wrong about dc not being allowed off school premises at lunchtime. It's one of the school rules! I'm glad to be honest. Ds old school used to let them out and ds never used to come back, bunked off a lot.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 07-Mar-14 17:26:43

While I get that some people might feel intimidated because there is a group of teenagers but that is hugely different from them actually being intimidated IYSWIM.

One of my colleagues always grumbles about the number of retired people in the post office when she goes out at lunch time.

I dont see it as hugely different.

It is easy to be annoyed by people who you think should be more considerate and keep out of your way because you dont perceive them as having a right to be where they are.

I will agree that the littering is wrong. A big step forward would come if the shop keepers would provide adequate bins.

Finola1step Fri 07-Mar-14 17:28:18

FLM oh yes, the newsagents right next to the school selling cigs to school kids in their uniform. I remember the singles stashed under the counter.

And if course the bunking off after lunch.

I left school in 2006, we were allowed out from the word go, up til Y9 I think, you needed a note saying you were allowed to leave the premises.

I lived on chips, pasties, doughnuts and sweets - took most of my GCSE's fuelled by nothing more than sweets.

I made bad choices then, and am paying for it now, so do think it wasn't exactly a great idea for us to be left to our own devices... <pokes rather large stomach>

BeeInYourBonnet Fri 07-Mar-14 18:30:40

Sorry I posted and ran - busy day.

Stopped at shops earlier for some milk, and met a bunch of young teens (13?) carrying 3 bottles of coke and 3 giant bags of dorritos and a load of sweets. Then weaved through about 20 teenage boys with bags of chips and coke from the chippy.

I used to be allowed home for lunch in primary but had no money, so i pretty much had to go home if I wanted to eat.

I know the junk food probably doesn't matter in the long run, but I do find it quite depressing seeing kids sitting on kerbs downing a litre of coke and scoffing cheesy chips, a pasty and a donut. And believe me I'm no health freak!

hamptoncourt Fri 07-Mar-14 18:49:54

What is the difference though as if they had to have a note saying they were going home for lunch, they could just go home and eat shit.

Where I live very few secondary school kids would have a SAHM waiting for them every day at lunchtime wearing a pinny and dispensing healthy lunches. The kids would just come home and raid the biscuits and crisps.

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 07-Mar-14 19:53:46

So is your issue that they had nowhere to sit, that there were lots of them or that they were eating junk food?

Or is the real issue their age?

BeeInYourBonnet Sat 08-Mar-14 08:57:52

My issue is I don't understand why they don't just stay in school.

I don't see the point of them being 'let out', just to eat piles of shite food.

TillyTellTale Sat 08-Mar-14 09:47:42

Does everything in your day have a point?

What's so wrong with having a short walk, a change of scenary, and something to eat?

I am a mature student, doing night school. The adults demand a break during each class (the week's lesson is three hours long) and we all troop down to the shop, buy shite food and coffee and troop back up, feeling revived.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 08-Mar-14 10:52:10

My issue is I don't understand why they don't just stay in school.

They get a short break (most schools dont even have an hour) and in that time they walk up to the shop and get some food. How is that different from people in offices walking out to get their lunch? At least they will have walked. Dont you see the irony that you had driven past them?

Bonsoir Sat 08-Mar-14 10:55:25

School canteens are dire. Forcing DC to eat at school is not great.

Lottiedoubtie Sat 08-Mar-14 11:11:38

Often they don't stay in school for very good reasons:

The school food is worse.
The canteen is too overcrowded they'd spend 30 mins of their 40 min break queuing and then what the wanted would have run out.
They want a change of scenery.
They want to feel 'free and independent' - small steps to independence are rightly very important to this age group.

TeacupDrama Sat 08-Mar-14 11:22:03

reasons they leave

1.canteen only seats 400 school has 1000 pupils
2. they do not like school lunches either not enough food or poor choices or it runs out so you are left with odd combinations like mash, cold slice of pizza and bread or rice and cheese and baked beans
3. they want free choice
4. there is better food elsewhere
5, they just want a break from school with their mates

in our town 1 private secondary not allowed out but food is great 3 course hot lunch 2 choices baked potatoes and salad/sandwich bar ( thye have boarding house all same catering company

the state secondary is very good S1 have to stay in but S2-6 can go out and most do lunches are OK but canteen too small and if you are last the choice is unbalanced and rubbish ie there is rice left but no curry/chilli to go on top

BlueberryWoods Sat 08-Mar-14 12:33:44

We were in a small café recently, the manager came over and said " I'm really sorry but it's going to get very noisy in a moment as the school kids are coming into get there lunch". They pre-order sandwiches, baked potatoes and soups. A whole load of school children came in, lined up chatting quietly, got their food and left. Stood outside and ate it. You hardly knew they were there. Afterwards not a scrap of litter in sight. One girl sat down at a table inside and a coffee with her gran. All very civilised. But it was an expensive private school. I suppose the school would have serious words with the kids if anyone was to complain about behaviour.

MoreBeta Sat 08-Mar-14 12:39:26

I wish my school banned the pupils going out a lunchtime. It really does no good at all. They hang around in town, they could be doing something useful at school.

They are only there 8.30 am - 3.50 pm. Why on earth does a child need to go out in that time?

My strong suspicion is that the staff just want as many children off campus as possible outside lesson times so they don't have to do anything with them.

Dining facilities need to be upgraded and kids given something to do - not turfing them out to roam the high street and eat junk food.

cory Sat 08-Mar-14 12:52:29

I quite often leave the premises of my workplace and go for a walk in the neighbourhood to stretch my legs and switch off for 20 minutes. I didn't realise there was something wrong with this because every single moment in my life must have a point. Or is it only teenagers' life that must be filled to the brim with "point".

I should add that I sometimes spend my leisure time on mindless activities too: watch non-educational telly, read non-improving books or just stare mindlessly into space. Is that all right now that I've turned 50?

I agree with the earlier poster who mentioned the need to get teens used to gradual small steps of independence.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 08-Mar-14 13:01:18

I am not the greatest supporter of schools but:

- why cant students have a break, why do they have to be doing something useful all the time?
- when are staff supposed to get a break if they are supposed to be filling breaks with 'activities'

What I detect on this thread is a distinctly anti-teenager slant from posters who seem to think that teenagers should be caged.

Dawndonnaagain Sat 08-Mar-14 15:11:44

For heaven's sake. Some teenagers go out occasionally. Some everyday. Some never. So, if yesterday you had seen one of my dds outside the chippy, it would have been the one and only time this term. Some of them go over there for birthday treats, but it's a biggish sixth form and you can't tell which are regulars and which aren't. And so what, they're out of school, generally it's sixth form and above, if they'd left at sixteen and gone to work, they'd be out. So bloody what!

SeaSickSal Sat 08-Mar-14 15:17:09

They're not necessarily eating it every day.

And anyway, they are at an age where soon they will be choosing ALL of their own food. They should have the freedom to make decisions so they can learn how to make responsible ones.

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