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To think £10 a week is a bit steep for school dinners?

(81 Posts)
fernier Thu 07-Jul-11 10:39:08

We pay £10 a week for school dinners per child (2 currently in school 2 more to go). They can have packed lunches but the school have made this so unpleasant (they have to sit at a different table we live in an area where almost all the children get free school meals so there are literally a handful of children with packed lunches sitting alone at one side of the hall) they also have a very restrictive list of what you can put in a lunchbox even though the school dinners actually contain alot of it.

Examples of meals this week are pasta with tomato sauce, jelly. Or fish fingers mashed potato and broccoli.

Aibu to think that these meals made in large quantities and I'm guessing not using exactly top notch ingredients are not worth £10 a week?

Also Aibu to think that making packed lunches so miserable that parents feel forced into paying for school dinners even when they cant really afford it is not on?

I am actually at the point of complaining about the quality of the meals and/or the treatments of those with packed lunches....and I never complain about anything shock

squeakytoy Thu 07-Jul-11 10:40:38

£2 a day doesnt seem that steep to me. You couldnt buy a sandwich or a pack of ham and a loaf of bread for much less. Fish fingers with mash and brocolli is nutritious and so is pasta.

activate Thu 07-Jul-11 10:40:46

it is normal for packed lunch kids to sit elsewhere IME

and ignore their guidelines if they are restrictive beyond the norm - approach them about that

as long as you are happy with it

altinkum Thu 07-Jul-11 10:42:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

muminthecity Thu 07-Jul-11 10:42:43

Ours are £10 a week too, I'd say that was pretty average.

fernier Thu 07-Jul-11 10:45:11

Squeaky toy my budget for lunches for the week in our weekly shop (holidays included) is £10 for 6 people or 4 people during school time. Perhaps I am being unreasonable about the cost it just seems alot out of my budget for what I would class as not very nice food.

altinkum Thu 07-Jul-11 10:45:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CamperFan Thu 07-Jul-11 10:45:54

I don't think £10 per week is too expensive, any lower and I'd really start to question what was in the meals!! However, I think you should challenge the restrictive list, that doesn't seem fair at all. Nor sitting elsewhere - why is this? Go ahead and complain - do you know anyone else who feels the same?

magicmelons Thu 07-Jul-11 10:47:24

Sounds about right i would have thought maybe even on the cheap side, i can see how it's expensive if you have a couple of dc though. You'd be better of giving the packed lunches.

Witchofthenorth Thu 07-Jul-11 10:47:48

Ours are the same price and I am quite happy, tbh, when we have lunch at home it is normally a sandwich and yoghurt for example, whereas at school they have a hot dinner. I don't get the restricting packed lunches though? If we go packed lunch, I put in what I please and haven't been told any different, I find that practise bizarre! ( the school restrictions that is )

GiddyPickle Thu 07-Jul-11 10:48:03

I think it's about average for school dinners and pretty good value for a hot meal and a pudding. In our school, the packed lunch children have to sit elsewhere too - again I think that's quite normal but probably depends on the space they have.

MackerelOfFact Thu 07-Jul-11 10:48:36

Seems reasonable to me TBH, they were £1.10 when I was at primary school about 15 years ago, so I'm suprised they're as low as £2 today. There aren't many places you could buy a hot meal and consume it on the premises for less than £2 - VAT will presumably be included in that amount as well.

munstersmum Thu 07-Jul-11 10:49:08

We pay the same & the school which cooks the dinner on the premises says it makes no profit. I believe them on this.

I feel hot school dinners are much better for younger children especially in the winter. Ours also includes juice or milk so I think the price is worth it.

I am totally against packed lunch 'policing' except re nut allergies.

Fennel Thu 07-Jul-11 10:50:06

You have to pay the people cooking the meal, the children don't just get bunged the raw ingredients at cost price.

Ours are £2 a day, gone up recently from £1.70. Food is very expensive at the moment and that's the price it is.

MackerelOfFact Thu 07-Jul-11 10:50:34

Actually schools are probably VAT exempt aren't they? No idea. But anyway!

ShatnersBassoon Thu 07-Jul-11 10:50:35

£2 isn't bad value, and they tend to sit the school dinner children together (and therefore the packed lunch children together) to help the lunchtime staff serve.

Ask to go in and have a look at the dinners if you're not convinced of the quality.

fernier Thu 07-Jul-11 10:50:40

Witchofthenorth when she did have packed lunch (when we first moved here) we had a letter to remind us that she wasn't allowed pasta in her box as it was too messy ( i had made a tuna pasta salad). They are also not allowed things like, crisps, biscuits, homemade pizza slices, salads which require a fork hmm or in reception where my son is "hard fruit" as it is unbelievably classed as a choking hazard ffs.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 07-Jul-11 10:51:42

Ours are £11 a week and they've just hinted at the newstarters night that is may go up by 10 per day. That means when DD starts in September I'll be paying £23 a week <searches for wine and eek emoticon>

squeakytoy Thu 07-Jul-11 10:51:55

I also think school dinners help to stop children being so fussy and faddy over food. If kids are hungry they will generally eat whatever is put in front of them, and less choice makes it easier.

I am against lunchbox policing too though.

Witchofthenorth Thu 07-Jul-11 10:57:45

My god fernier that seems absolutely ridiculous! Just what were you meant to put in their packed lunch!! I think I would be having words about that! It's hardly a prison dining room is it, no forks ( I am spluttering into the keyboard as I type) I am officially lost for words (and that's not bloody easy to do believe me smile )

fuzzpig Thu 07-Jul-11 11:00:21

Ours is £11 a week. The company (used by many local schools) is very well reputed though. Haven't tried it yet, DD starts in September so we need to decide. It's a lot of money but we need to balance out expense with time saved and the fact it's hot etc. I don't know.

Apparently though you are allowed to do half and half, so maybe we'd do two days a week or something? Or - if any of you have tried this - is it a bit too confusing and inconsistent?

fernier Thu 07-Jul-11 11:00:40

When we went to the induction evening for next year the head teacher asked everyone to fill in the forms for free school meals because apparently the funding of the school is based on how many free school meal children they have? Is that true!? They really are preoccupied with having people on school dinners, at her old school it was about 50/50 packed lunch school dinner but here when I have been at the school at lunch time there is one table of packed lunches for all year one and two (so 6 classes) so about 20 children.

fernier Thu 07-Jul-11 11:02:00

Fuzzpig I could ask about that although I doubt they allow that as you need to give notice of the meals the terms before they seem to need alot of warning when you change.

altinkum Thu 07-Jul-11 11:03:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

altinkum Thu 07-Jul-11 11:05:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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