School forcing KS1 children to have school dinners

(69 Posts)
gemgemninknonk Tue 08-Jul-14 18:40:24

From September my children's school is making it compulsory for all KS1 children to have the free school dinners.
I am unhappy about this for several reasons but mainly because it is my choice as to what my children should eat.
I provide them with a healthy and balanced packed lunch and they do on occasion have school dinners but again this is my choice.

I have been wondering if the school can actually do this legally and to perhaps take things further but I don't want to start a rebellion without being armed with as much information as possible.

Any advice on how to handle this would be much appreciated.
TIA

MotleyCroup Tue 08-Jul-14 18:48:40

Our school provide a healthy and balanced sandwich box option. Is this possibly what your school will provide?

mrssmooth Tue 08-Jul-14 18:50:33

Our school also provides filled rolls/sandwiches and jacket potatoes alongside hot dinners so perhaps this might be something they will introduce if they don't already provide it? They can't force children to eat ...!

mrz Tue 08-Jul-14 18:52:19

The school can't force your child to have school lunch but the alternative may be that you take them home for lunch.

Myfanwyprice Tue 08-Jul-14 18:52:40

I had the induction meeting at my dd's school today; they said that under the new guidelines they have to provide a hot meal for every key stage 1 child, so no option of a school packed lunch; but they did say it was up to parents if they had the hot meal or send in a packed lunch and they can have a combination throughout the week.

gemgemninknonk Tue 08-Jul-14 19:14:41

Perhaps I should elaborate on some of the concerns I have regarding the dinners;

* As mentioned before my children do have school dinners now & again, probably on average about once a week, whenever I question them as to what they have eaten that day it is always the seemingly unhealthier option such as fish and chips, hot dog, burger & chips, thinking a 6 year old will make the right choice from a menu is just ridiculous, so the optional salad platter or jacket potato is pretty much redundant.

* I have an older sibling who will not be getting packed lunches, this is going to cause all sorts of arguments and 'it's not fair' scenarios as I just couldn't afford the dinners everyday.

* Chocolate pudding, sticky toffee pudding, chocolate fruity crisp, jam roly poly with custard or similar are on the menu everyday. We have a pudding after our main meal each evening, sometimes we will have a sugary pudding, sometimes fruit, yogurts etc but I am really not keen on my child having 2 very sugary puddings a day, am I just to say to him at dinner that he can not have a slice of cake that the rest of his family are enjoying or shall I just let him eat 2 puddings a day even though I don't agree with it?

* I am worried about the number of calories he will be consuming, usually if they have had a hot school dinner we will have salads, jacket potatoes, a sandwich or soup for tea but surely 2 full cooked meals a day would be too much, they also seem to have bread with everything, one day last month my older son had pizza, potato wedges & bread followed by apple pie, not exactly a balanced meal is it.

Quite frankly I am just furious that my choice has been taken away, I like the flexible options we have now and it has worked for us. I understand that there are many parents that cannot provide a balanced healthy packed lunch for their children but it shouldn't mean that those who can are discriminated. I am lucky that my children are not fussy eaters but what about the parents that have picky eaters, will they just go hungry?

Stuffofawesome Tue 08-Jul-14 19:19:34

Sorry no advice but Myfanwy I think that is an immoral waste of food and money if they plan to cook for every child regardless.

mrz Tue 08-Jul-14 19:23:08

Perhaps you need to ask to see the calorie content as schools have to provide a balanced diet with calories carefully counted.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 08-Jul-14 19:26:17

I don't understand why it would be compulsory. Surely a school has no right to override a parents decision to send a packed lunch. Even drs can't do that can they?

thanks

How bloody annoying

mygrandchildrenrock Tue 08-Jul-14 19:53:22

From September, all school meals have to conform to new school food standards and I think chips are allowed once a week, it should be much healthier than the menu you describe.
The Government isn't insisting that schools provide a hot lunch, but are strongly encouraging them to. I think the actual wording says 'it is expected that all children will be provided with a hot meal...' however as I'm not at work I can't be sure of the exact wording.
Many schools are doing what yours are and only providing hot meals. You can always write to the Chair of Governors and the Headteacher requesting that your child is allowed to take a packed lunch in and see what they say. The other options are to either take your child home for lunch or change your main meal at home.

Myfanwyprice Tue 08-Jul-14 20:09:15

Sorry stuff I should've been clearer; at the school they already run a system of letting each child/parent decide on the day, so you can swap between school dinners and home lunches without having to give notice.

I'm not sure how this works out in terms of having enough supplies, but I think they only prepare school dinners for those who have asked for them at registration.

mrz Tue 08-Jul-14 20:15:38

That's the way most schools work

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 08-Jul-14 20:20:35

I am not sure if they are allowed to do this, I don't agree with it myself but there are private schools around that say children MUST eat the school meals.

We are going to try them until half term, both mine will qualify for them this year and the menus sent home looked reasonable although I suspect some days they won't eat anything at all but they are certainly working on a slightly more healthy choice than you describe. We have to preorder the food so have just done it now until october! of course by then they might have changed what they eat completely.

our school is doing a mix of hot meals and sandwiches because not enough kitchen space yet but this is temporary.

I wouldn't be happy at being told they had to have it and certainly given how many parents have mentioned this last week that they won't be accepting the free meals for a whole variety of reasons they wouldn't be happy at being forced to have them either.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 08-Jul-14 20:21:19

My children go to private schools where school meals have always been compulsory except in the case if one child on a special ketagenic(sp) diet

Never been a problem.

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 08-Jul-14 20:23:53

mygrandchildrenrock - the actual wording as I read it would imply that schools have to OFFER a hot meal, not insist that the children HAVE to have it. All schools should be offering parents who want it the opportunity for their child to have a hot meal at lunchtime but the parent still has to have a say in it.

I for one personally feel our family evening meals are extremely important, we sit down and we all eat the same thing at the same time (assuming hubby can get out of work on time) talking about our days. My children will be having 2 cooked meals a day but I am hoping that this will actually just end up reducing the number of snacks they have rather than increase their calories too much but will see what happens.

mrz Tue 08-Jul-14 20:26:09

I think research has show that there are more calories in "typical" packed lunches (not sure what is meant by typical) than school lunches

stargirl1701 Tue 08-Jul-14 20:29:56

The 'puddings' at school dinners contain no sugar. I can't eat the apple crumble at school because it is so sour. The choc cake tastes of flour not choc or sugar. It's weird to look at these puddings and then eat them. They are not what you expect.

500internalerror Tue 08-Jul-14 20:30:44

School dinner portions are tiny ime, so I wouldn't worry about them eating too much! Even on dinners, ds comes out starving at home time, & has a reasonable tea too.

mrz Tue 08-Jul-14 20:31:29

and the crumble is made of oats with no fat content to comply with the rules

Vacillating Tue 08-Jul-14 20:32:45

I imagine the majority of parents who would still opt to provide a packed lunch are confident that it meets the nutritional needs of their child successfully. They may be justifiably sceptical that the hot meals provided will do the same when we have had nation wide problems with the quality of school meal provision.

I doubt parents will see much change if their impression of the current meals is poor. Our provider is an improvement on use last but the food is poor and personal selection can render nutritional balance irrelevance. There are no plans for menu changes and I won't be using them more than once a week.

I would love to see better food, more families included in free school meals and think this policy ridiculous.

mygrandchildrenrock Tue 08-Jul-14 20:44:55

The guidance to schools doesn't make it clear if schools can 'insist' it's hot meals or no meals though. As I said I would write to your Chair of Govs, not a complaining letter, merely asking if you are still allowed to send in a packed lunch for your child and see what they reply.

Retropear Tue 08-Jul-14 21:05:22

See I want my dc to have more of their calories at school.They are starving after a school dinner.I'd rather they had more calories at school when they are on the go constantly than stuffing as they walk in from school and during tea.The hot dinner we have at home isn't that high in calories and it works well.We all eat together,talking and it's just right for an evening meal that will be followed by limited activity.

So I have no problems with packed lunches containing more calories than the paltry school dinners on offer.

jamtoast12 Tue 08-Jul-14 21:09:38

There no way my kids could have a small tea after hot school dinners! My kids need two hot meals. In fact they are usually more hungry on hot dinner days than on packed lunch days. I agree, two hot meals would hopefully reduce snacks but I def wouldn't substitute one dinner for a snack type meal.

I think the social aspect is important. In our school, due to size, kids on packed lunch can't sit with kids on hot dinners so for me I let me kids choose. If all the kids are on hot dinners I'm not sure I'd want mine to be the only one.

apermanentheadache Tue 08-Jul-14 21:11:31

There is nothing to prevent schools having a 'no packed lunches' policy. You can complain to the governors if you want to but the school is entirely within its rights. What they couldn't do though is - to give an example - insist all children had school dinners and not provide options for pupils with medical or religious needs.

Retropear Tue 08-Jul-14 21:15:06

Our school dinners and packed lunches all eat together,why on earth wouldn't they.

hobblebobble Tue 08-Jul-14 21:17:46

I am lucky that our school does amazing school meals so most them and school encourage it. However I am not sure that Academy's Free schools and private have to stick to the same guidelines on what can be served?

The main problem that I have with school dinners is that they taste like crap. I don't want ds going off food because the version that he is given at school tastes horrible. I still have a friend who hates many foods due to terrible school dinners.

I have only ever worked at 1 school where the food tasted nice. The others have all been disgusting.

ShinySilver Tue 08-Jul-14 21:21:18

The head of my school told us in the toolkit they received from the Government it specifically said that the school could tell parents the children had to have hot dinners or be taken home for lunch. So they would be perfectly within their rights to ban packed lunches for the infants.

Thankfully they are not doing this. I really feel for any parents in schools who are banning packed lunches. There is no way my son would eat a school dinner - so I would have to fetch him home for lunch (and what on earth would a working mum do in that situation - be forced to let their child go hungry at lunchtime?!)

clam Tue 08-Jul-14 21:35:15

I don't think it's the school you should be directing your anger at. This was Nick Clegg's bright idea. Write to him.

Pico2 Tue 08-Jul-14 21:47:01

How do they get the children to eat the sugar free puddings? They sound rank.

negrilbaby Tue 08-Jul-14 21:50:27

We complain so easily in this country.
Our children are being given hot food for lunch!!
Many parents worldwide would be so grateful.
Save The Children

clam Tue 08-Jul-14 21:58:38

Most of the kids in my school tip the bulk of their lunch in the bin. So I would guess if they don't like what's on offer (e.g. a sugar-free pudding), there would be no questions asked.
And there are many parents assuming their child has eaten a full meal at lunchtime!

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 08-Jul-14 22:03:34

Aaaah the old "it's free so we should be grateful even if it's shit" arguement.

Yes others have it worse and we are sorry about that but doesn't mean we have to accept it when we should have a choice.

Pico2 Tue 08-Jul-14 22:05:05

Feeding grim food to children so that they bin most of it is one way to try to tackle childhood obesity. It doesn't quite seem the right way though.

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 08-Jul-14 22:08:12

hmm if they taste awful then I can imagine my children asking me to rethink things in the autumn then.

ours have to be sat separately from hot dinners at the moment due to huge space issues but obviously this ruling is changing things so they will have to get 180 kids through and therefore I assume they are factoring it all in and instead of sitting on the classroom floor to eat their packed lunch (I am not joking) they will presumably all end up in the hall at the same time whatever their lunch is but have more sittings? no idea really, I am not entirely sure the school know yet either.

personally I think it is a poorly thought out idea that has been rushed through with no thought to how on earth schools are going to cope with it all and whether all these children need free food.

hiccupgirl Tue 08-Jul-14 22:15:19

I think the problem is that for many schools it is a huge financial investment to be able to provide free dinners for all KS1 and Reception children. Therefore it is easier and more cost effective for them to say that all the children will have them rather than have to use adults to supervise the one or two who don't and to make the build cost of new kitchens etc worthwhile. And clearly they are allowed to do this as you do have the choice to take your child home for lunch instead.

Luckily my DS's school is keeping the dinners as optional but I suspect the vast majority of his class will have them.

stargirl1701 Tue 08-Jul-14 22:48:00

The actual savoury part of the meal has improved greatly over the last decade in all the schools I have worked in. There is a lovely salad bar in my school now - no limits to how much you can have. The portions ought to be different though - a five year old and a ten year old need different amounts, IMO.

A lot of food does go in the bin. Including the bizarre, tasteless puddings grin

Loobylou3 Tue 08-Jul-14 22:58:39

I believe the government directive is that 'pupils will routinely be offered a hot meal option'

PastSellByDate Wed 09-Jul-14 06:54:10

gem

First off offering free school meals YR - Y2 is required by the government - this isn't the school doing this to you - this is the national government: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-infant-free-school-meals

You know what - I think most schools offer a day when you can go in and see what is on offer but you can also just contact the school.

The one day a week option around here is usually pizza day - but I agree not exactly haute cuisine.

The point is schools are trying to do better (maybe not to French standards) but trying to introduce children to a range of things.

I think if you arranged with the school to see what was on offer at lunch you'd feel more reassured. Our school offers cold sandwiches/ jacket potato & filling/ vegetarian option + salad & fruit bar, which children can go to as much as they like. DD1 tends to polish off their cucumber supply at the minute.

If you don't like the quality of the food - lobby the school. But in general you are getting this for free (so it is saving you money). Two hot meals a day isn't 'too much' for a growing child - and children tend to eat until full and stop. Indeed some children (hmmm, hmmm) tend to stop eating early to go out and play.

I think your elder child will understand that this is offered free to you right now and that when they're older they'll go over to packed lunches too.

The average school meal cost around £2 a day and families who earn <£16K a year are entitled to apply for Free School Meals: https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals

Personally I can't get away with making my child a packed lunch for that much under £2(sandwich, vegetable sticks, fruit, sweet (small candy - school has banned chocolate bars), crisps, cheese string/ baby bell).

HTH

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 09-Jul-14 07:20:50

Personally I can't get away with making my child a packed lunch for that much under £2(sandwich, vegetable sticks, fruit, sweet (small candy - school has banned chocolate bars), crisps, cheese string/ baby bell)

The difference is though that your money goes on food. Out of the price of the meal about 50p goes on the food and the rest on staff/overheads

Retropear Wed 09-Jul-14 09:13:20

The bizarre tasteless puddings are egg to get the calorie content up because they include so little protein to save money.Hence kids being starving after.

Forcing families to put up with this is utterly wrong.

PastSellByDate Wed 09-Jul-14 09:58:37

Giles: I would argue that bulk buying and at discounts (which schools qualify for) mean that in fact they can get more for than £1.50 than an individual consumer paying VAT/ full priced at a store.

Retropear & Gem: If you do not like the quality of the food - then complain. Schools are making tasty, nutritious meals for ~£2 a head and including things like cooking lessons where children prepare food from what they've grown (in forest school/ in class).

I'm not saying it's easy or straightforward - but it is entirely possible to have an interesting and healthy range of food on offer through a school menu.

More info here: www.childrensfoodtrust.org.uk/Root/schools/schoolfoodplan

This is just an example of what Woodlands Junior school is offering for lunch - price £1.60: resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/education/schdinners.htm

Our school introduced a vote for the favourite and least favourite school dinner option (omnivore/ vegetarian voted separately). They then review the least favourite and either improve the recipe or replace it with something new. But our school employs cooks.

We have also pushed to allow the vegetarian option to be available to all students - unless running low.

I think you have to seriously investigate whether your school is buying in meals via a caterer (and then look into them in terms of quality/ sourcing of foodstuffs) - or if the school has in-house cooks and is preparing the food themselves. Our school is preparing the food themselves and really pride themselves on offering a wide range of choice and always offering fruit or yogurt as an alternative to the 'dessert' choice. Their view is any fruit not eaten can be washed and added into KS1 fruit snack and yogurts can be returned to the fridge and used again - so there aren't huge cost implications. There is a certain amount of wastage with salads - but in general not a huge amount and they monitor what is popular vs. what isn't and adjust quantities accordingly.

Personally not having to make a lunch in the morning (except for the odd school trip that requires it) does free me up to ensure my girls have a good breakfast (which I kind of think is more important).

HTH

I just can't stand the hypocrisy about school dinners. They police the lunchboxes like mad - banning various things. But I've just checked the menu for my dc's school and there is a stodgy and/or sugary pudding every single day. I went in for the taster day a while back and tasted their 'sugar-free' flapjacks. They, unlike the grim main courses, were absolutely delicious. It turned out that this was because they were full of golden syrup. And apparently that doesn't count as sugar hmm !

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 09-Jul-14 10:37:59

There's more sugar in syrup than in the equivilants amount of sugar.

Arf

PastSellByDate Wed 09-Jul-14 10:40:04

holmes:

Ye average flapjack (caloriecount.about.com/calories-flapjack-i74060) is about 135 calories.

Recommended caloric intake (KCAL per day) children 4 - 6 years of age is

1715 calories for boys

1545 calories for girls

---------------------------------

ye olde flapjack would equal 8% of a boys daily caloric intake/ 9% of a girls daily caloric intake.

Now portion control on the part of the school may mean that they're actually getting even less.

However - the reality is most children are very active - playing, moving about, never sitting still - and their bodies can cope with a bit of sugar.

As a parent - if you object to sugars (not just the granulated variety) you can request that they are on a low sugar diet (excluding processed sugars) and offered fruit or yogurt instead of a 'stodgy pudding'.

Like anything it's all about balance - and unfortunately around here you see Y6 boys fueling up on crisps and soda on the walk into school and greeted with a bar of chocolate by the parents at the end of the school day (knowing they're going home to polish off 3 -4 packets of crisps). And that really is too large a portion of 'processed/ fatty' foods in your diet - child or adult.

Vacillating Wed 09-Jul-14 11:35:26

Great if your school has lovely lunches, mine doesn't and isn't going to. Lobbying will make no difference as there are fundamental limitations in the school's resources and they are happy with current provision.

I wouldn't eat them, my children don't wasn't to and them being free doesn't make them more attractive to any of us. I don't have to buy in to a culture of shit food for children on any level.

No, PastSellByDate, what I object to is them effectively lying about their food. I entirely agree that there is nothing wrong with the odd flapjack. I make them myself too. They would be horrible without any sugar, syrup or honey in them. I'm not interested in calorie counts and so on - my kids are slim, very active and need plenty of food.
What I think it is outrageous however is to ban things from packed lunches and then give equally 'bad' things every single day in the school dinners. It just proves that the policies have very little to do with concerns about the children's diet. They are effectively saying 'You bad mummy for giving your child a (tiny) evil sugary chocolate cookie in her packed lunch! She should be having our (enormous) lovely, healthy sugar-free flapjack instead <hiding tin of golden syrup behind back>'. It's controlling, hypocritical bollocks.

Oops, I'm sure there were paragraphs in that rant when I clicked 'post'!

ElephantsNeverForgive Wed 09-Jul-14 12:27:24

DD2 simply wouldn't eat and I'd let the school have the joy of teaching her all afternoon.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 09-Jul-14 12:33:41

I'd much rather, a small portion of a cake containing sugar/fat that actually tastes nice than have a sugar and fat free version every day that's massive

I agree, Giles. But children should not be forced to have school dinners. Neither should schools be banning perfectly ordinary food items. Certainly if a child is routinely sent in with a can of Red Bull, a pork pie and a Mars Bar for lunch, the school would need to maybe have a chat with the parents, but banning pudding-type items and then serving them in the school lunches is preposterous.

It would be great if the school lunches really were nice, but I imagine it's pretty hard to mass cater on a small budget for kids, who are often fussy or very limited in what they like.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 09-Jul-14 12:55:08

Id be surprised if the reason behind parents getting away with being shitty parents isn't because they know full well that everyone's so afraid of offending others that they will jut make it a school rule rather than deal with the actual problem.

How many blanket polices are there gonna be To the detriment of every other normal person capable of deciding what to feed their child and do this sensibly?

It's ridiculous.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 09-Jul-14 12:57:26

The worse thing is that everyone's falling for it. It's control and treating people like idiots, and avoiding solving the actual problem disguised as free food.

And everyone's sat there like puppies wagging tails and waiting for their treats.

Well said. As an aside, I've just found out that at the teeny primary school that my dc will probably be attending in September (we are re-locating to quite a rural area) the children all have packed lunches Mon-Thurs (the school has no catering facilities) but on Fridays the village pub provides and delivers lunch for all of the (41!) children if they want it. They can order what they like each week. Sounds like a nice compromise!

MilkyChopsKid Wed 09-Jul-14 13:37:42

I have three concerns about this:

1. The quality and quantity of meat my DCs will eat. After the horsemeat scandle I'm not happy what the meat is - there will be lots of firms rubbing their hands in glee at the dodgy (unfit for human consumption) meat they can slip into the supply chain. I think children will eat more meat (in two hot meals rather than one as packed lunches are mostly veggie). The extra demand for meat means it is more likely for dodgy meat to be put in the school meals.

2. My DCs eat obvious chopped veg in their meals, school meals probably will have unidentifiable pepper, courgette, carrot, sweetcorn (chopped in a food processor) so that will gradually be the end of them eating veg at home. I find they only eat things they have frequently and can identify.

3. I eat with my children and would like to continue to do so, a hot meal in the early evening is best for me as I want to get on and do things during the day.

I'm not concerned if school meals are nutritionally better, my packed lunches are not awful and I know what is being eaten.

My DCs' school cannot provide meals in Sept, I'm not sure if they will be compulsory when they can. Hopefully not!

ILoveCoreyHaim Wed 09-Jul-14 13:44:36

Our old head done this. She said if the children did not want a school meal thy could be collected from the gate. We had a dinner lady who made meals from scratch. Peach and custard crumble and home cooked mes. All the school were on dinners unless the head allowed packed lunch for a good reason. Head left and dinner lady retired. New head brought her dinner lady who made the council lunches. My kids said they were disgusting and reverted to packed lunch which the new head allowed. Have another new dinner lady and the kids say dinners are ok. They go dinner some days, packed lunch the other days.

I wish we still had the old dinner lady as i hate making packed lunches

ElephantsNeverForgive Wed 09-Jul-14 15:42:02

But the real problem is, the more you try and force DCs to eat food they don't like and don't have any say over in school the worse they are when they get home.

It's a massively hard hearted parent who refuses their DD an ice cream on the way home knowing their lunch most likely went in the bin.

And the bin is where DD2 would have gone, she is that stubborn and that capable of not eating all day. Something you do not want to encourage.

We had exactly this with water and carrot sticks at nursery, DC were starving and demanding snacks on the way home.

Children actually need some blood sugar or they get grumpy!

ElephantsNeverForgive Wed 09-Jul-14 15:47:29

Quite simply all this focus on food and healthy eating can and does backfire.

Look at the number of teens in the sweet shop or having bacon butties at break and skipping lunch.

Poor food choices are an incredibly easy way getting a quick rebellion fix and they don't land you in detention like rolling up your skirt.

ElephantsNeverForgive - good blood sugar levels don't come from eating sugar! If anything is likely to make a child grumpy, it is eating nothing sensible all day and then having an ice cream! Sugar high, sugar crash. If my dc said they hadn't eaten anything all day, an ice cream would not be what I gave them.

flannelwash Wed 09-Jul-14 17:54:59

Not trying to derail but this is what my dcs school said on the matter, something tells me its more about funding than healthy kids.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 09-Jul-14 17:56:41

Can't read that on iPhone smile summary?

flannelwash Wed 09-Jul-14 18:23:37

"...even if you would prefer your child not to have a free school meal and will instead be providing them with a packed lunch, we strongly recommend that you still register as this will be advantageous to the school. It is my hope to encourage parents and carers of all children in reception, years one and two to register. if you do not have access to a computer, we will make school facilities available; just let us know. "

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 09-Jul-14 18:26:23

But won't that mean they cater for too many?

Pico2 Wed 09-Jul-14 18:31:07

I assume that they will claim for those children too. Then they can use the extra money to make better meals for those having them (or possibly something else).

mrz Wed 09-Jul-14 18:34:03

The cook will only provide meals for the number of children who are marked in the dinner register requiring school dinners each day

Vacillating Wed 09-Jul-14 20:16:26

They could mean that without registering some pupils might not be correctly allocated as those who attract pupil premium funding. Our school will only claim those eating though I don't think there will be huge overspend if all are claimed for. Some days the food runs out other days there are spare puddings dished out as seconds...

PeanutButterOnly Wed 09-Jul-14 20:36:44

I would love my ds(4) to have the free school dinners. I have elder DS who loves them, has them every day and I've paid out for every one. Next year he'll be yr6. Younger DS had an utter melt down about the idea of having the dinners when we got the letter today and said he would refuse to go to school if he couldn't have packed lunch. He has food issues and only eats a limited number of things. It is getting better but only when he chooses to try something new for himself. So I will have to continue with the packed lunches. He's only turning 5 in Aug and I just can't risk upsetting the year 1 transition sad I don't think schools or the government have thought through the ramifications to families. I'm worried DS self esteem around eating will be even worse if he really can't eat the dinners that the majority are having for free.

apermanentheadache Wed 09-Jul-14 22:09:37

flannelwash, what vacillating says is probably correct. Pupil premium is quite a lot of money, and encouraging you to register is to do with making sure that pupils who should attract the money do so.

tobysmum77 Thu 10-Jul-14 09:26:17

the school dinners at dd's school are reasonable I think but what makes me laugh is she always compliments dinners at home loudly!

I don't think there's anything wrong with kids having two proper meals, but then I don't give cake out afterwards.

In terms of the puddings when I ask dd she usually said she had fruit instead. She isn't a health freak so I suspect they aren't that nice wink .

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