Asked to pay for school lunch when she has packed lunch from home....

(53 Posts)
Babedestiny Mon 14-Jan-13 13:14:30

I had to pay outstanding fees for school lunch which i wasnt aware of until i got the letter.Went to the school toask and was told that every child will be asked whether they want to have school dinner and my dd said yes and i had to pay because she said so.But what i didnt undertsand was she had packed lunch from home everyday and i had never requested for her to have school lunch.How could the school go according to what the child said.Their answer was they cannot check every child who has packed lunch from home and goes according to what the kid say.So did she had both lunch on that day then?
Got really angry with the lack of communication the school had.Did anybody had this problem before or is it right for the school to do that?
I really dont know what the system is as its my first one in school?

DSM Mon 14-Jan-13 13:16:54

How much was it, the full year or one day?

This doesn't really make sense - your DD had a packed lunch but they asked her if she wanted school lunch, she said yes but did she have it?

I think you need to remind your child that she has a packed lunch and tell her not to request a school dinner. The kids at our school are asked in the morning whether they have a packed lunch or are having a school dinner and dd has only said she is having a school dinner on one occasion when she has already taken in a packed lunch. I had to pay for the school dinner when I went to collect her from school. She brought the packed lunch home with her. Did your lo not bring an uneaten lunch home with her?

vigglewiggle Mon 14-Jan-13 13:19:20

Are you sure they meant that they ask the children themselves- that sounds very odd! I would have expected them to have sent a letter before your child started at school. You would sign to say you wanted school dinners and were intending to pay. That is how it works at DDs' school. Are you sure you didn't originally request dinners?

How old is your DD?

kilmuir Mon 14-Jan-13 13:21:45

I have never encountered a school where they ask if children want a hot dinner. Every school my children have been at , we have to pay for the meal a week before

frasersmummy Mon 14-Jan-13 13:25:16

vigglewiggle does that mean you are locked into one or the other at the beginning of term... what happens if your child fancies a change

when the register is taken our kids tell the teacher if they are a packed lunch a school dinner (what option no for school dinner) or if they are going home for lunch on a daily basis

did your dd bring her packed lunch home with her op

at our school the children can choose each day whether they want a school dinner and then they pay for it on the day. They have dinner cards that they can top up with money and then use them to pay for their school dinner. We dont have to decide in advance whether they are having school dinners/packed lunch as they can have them as and when they want.

FestiveWench Mon 14-Jan-13 13:25:41

what was happening to her packed lunch?

Presumably it wasn't coming home uneaten or you'd have figured out what was going on. So was she having two lunches or was someone throwing it away?

givemeaclue Mon 14-Jan-13 13:27:49

Mine get asked each day if they are packed lunch or school dinner, we get charged for the dinners they have. Means we can decide on the day.
My dd did say that one day she couldn't remember so teacher told her to go and check whether she had her lunch bag, which she did.

overthemill Mon 14-Jan-13 13:32:50

at the school i teach at (yrs 5 - 8) children are asked each morning and numbers sent to school kitchens so we don't have waste. you can pay each day if you want ad hoc like this or in advance or at end of half term. it seems a good idea to me but i understand that for littler ones might be tricky

Suffolkgirl1 Mon 14-Jan-13 13:36:39

Whilst they prefer us to pay on a Monday for the whole week the children are asked each morning, either packed lunch, dinner or vegetarian dinner. The juniors are expected to answer in Spanish!
(DS now year 10, remembers very little Spanish as he doesn't do it at his secondary but could still order his lunch!)

DeWe Mon 14-Jan-13 13:38:28

Both infant and junior schools my dc go to ask the children. In the infant school it os done by the week and each child answers the register with "pack lunch" or "school dinners" on Monday (or 1st day they're in school). At the juniors they say per day.

If they said the wrong one then I'd be more cross with the dc than the school.

thesnootyfox Mon 14-Jan-13 13:44:18

What a daft system I expect a lot of the younger ones wouldn't have a clue what to say. In our area you have to give half a terms notice to alter the arrangements and it has to be in writing from the parents.

YouCannotBeSirius Mon 14-Jan-13 13:47:24

Our school asks the children at morning registration so that they know how much food to order. This is double checked by the kitchen staff ticking names off the class lists as the children line up for school dinners. It's a large primary school but they still manage to get all the names.

If there are no further checks being made at the OP's school, what's to stop people from doing the opposite to the OP's dd? It would be easy to say they were having packed lunch but then have a school dinner instead.

If no-one ever makes an official complaint about this system, the school will think the system must be a success.

vigglewiggle Mon 14-Jan-13 13:49:11

Frasers We need to give two weeks notice to change form one to the other. They did have an issue with people chopping and changing and consequently a lot of waste.

DSM Mon 14-Jan-13 13:51:31

This is all a bit odd. You have to let the school know in advance what kind of lunch your child will be having? I wouldn't be bothered with that.

At DS's school, you go in with a packed lunch or £1.75. At lunchtime, you either go to the dinner hall or the packed lunch room. If you have neither, the child gets a lunch and you get a note and send in £1.75 the next day.

All very easy, simple and convenient.

Why on earth they need to know in advance, I have no idea.

haggisaggis Mon 14-Jan-13 13:52:18

Every Monday we fill out a little form which has child's name, days of week, dinner choices and a column for pack / home - and a total box for money enclosed.

The teachers check every day that the actual dinner choice is OK but at least there is written confirmation if a dinner is required.

Our school is organised like DSM's - no hassle.

The kids are asked in the morning which lunch they prefer: blue/red/green tray. That's that.

How much/many days were you asked to backpay?

SamSmalaidh Mon 14-Jan-13 13:58:09

I think it's a bit much to expect a 4 year old in their first term at school to answer a question about lunches correctly - teachers should be checking.

If I was the OP I wouldn't pay. Say you never asked for school dinners, your DD had a packed lunch which she ate, so you have not entered into any agreement with the school to pay for dinners.

taketheribbon Mon 14-Jan-13 13:58:52

At our school you have to say at the beginning of each half of term. The reason given is that the catering staff have to know to order the right amount of food in. Makes sense in a way, although I must admit, I wish we could just choose on the day like DSM's school.

AngelsWithSilverWings Mon 14-Jan-13 14:00:17

This happens at our school too. My DCs never have school dinners. They have a packed lunch every day but every now and then I get a note telling me that I owe dinner money. This happens even though you have to pre order school meals a week in advance.

What annoys me is that the receptionist always blames the child and never accepts that the teacher may have made a mistake in the register.

I then get the "well on this occasion we will waive the charge " response. It really winds me up!

hillyhilly Mon 14-Jan-13 14:00:42

I got charged by mistake once for my dd, however, my niece ate packed lunch and school dinners for a whole week once before her mother realised when she got the invoice!

Babedestiny Mon 14-Jan-13 14:32:06

Sorry for the late reply..i didnt expect so many response at one go.Ya it was only for a week.I didnt mind paying but i was worried that we as a parent wasnt informed about it...What if it had gone on longer..My dd was blamed as a result.She is 5 by the way.I didnt know this would happen.So will definetely teach her from now on..

I received the letter after 3 months so i couldnt remember...about the packed lunch whether she had finished it or not.But she has never bring it back as it was..This happened in october last yr when i went to check the dates.

At the beginning of the term, i was informed that we would have to pay and inform the reception before they can have the sch lunch..which i havent until now. But she was still allowed to have it.

Anyway, Feel much better after knowing i am not the only one.Have left a clear note to the reception now about not letting my dd have anymore school lunch even if she request in the future.Hope that clears the lack of communication...

Thnak you so much for replying and giving suggestions...smile

DSM Mon 14-Jan-13 14:36:50

Well you better make double sure event day that her packed lunch is in her bag since you've left a note categorically stating she is never to be fed by the school!

DSM Mon 14-Jan-13 14:37:04

*every day

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