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to think schools should offer the option of a packed lunch?

(19 Posts)
zelda1982 Thu 08-Sep-11 14:34:29

This doesn't affect me just yet (it will next september when dd2 stats school dinners) but the school my dds go to doesn't offer the option of a packed lunch (unless you have an allergy with a doctors note) Now when dd2 starts thats going to be £20 a week on school dinners. I could probably do packed lunches for about £5 (i buy sandwich stuff anyhow for me, dp and dd3)

So my only option would be to bring them home for dinner, which i am a bit sad about as lunch time is great for playing with friends etc... and i dont even know if this is allowed (i'll ask closer to the time). I was thinking of letting them stay a few days and bringing them home the rest of the time.

Anyhow should all school have to offer the option of packed lunch?
BTW school says its because they have no where for the packed lunchers to sit, but why they cannot just sit in the school hall i dont know.

NestaFiesta Thu 08-Sep-11 14:37:24

That's ridiculous. YANBU. Surely if enough parents complain that £80 a month on school dinners is out of the question then the school will have to act. MY DS and his packed lunch classmates just sit in the same dining hall. Don't see why your DD2's school can't achieve the same!

You could always say your DD has an allergy to overpriced school schemes and has to have special budget food.

InnocentRedhead Thu 08-Sep-11 14:39:35

YANBU that is absolutely fucking ridiculous! Not everybody can afford £20 a week!!

Do you work OP? i know this might sound irrelevant, but if you work, you can say to the school 'even though i work I cannot afford to pay £20 a week and because i work there is no option for me to bring her home for dinner, what do you suggest I do? they cannot force you to pay £20 a week and they cannot force you to pick her up and they will not let a child go hungry...

You won't be able to take a packed lunch as i bet it has to be refrigerated for food hygiene or something.

lazylula Thu 08-Sep-11 14:39:56

YANBU. A small set of shelves at the back of the classroom, or out in the corridor is all that is needed for lunch boxes.

DoingMyVeryBest Thu 08-Sep-11 14:40:36

I agree, there should be the option of packed lunch. The same number of bottoms go on chairs for school dinners or packed lunches so I don't understand their problem.

Is is a private school? I know of 1 where school dinners are compulsory, but then my friends have decided it's worth the compromise to send their children to the school. If it's your local community school though...

Mine do school dinners a couple of days a week but I really wouldn't like it every day, my packed lunches are way better than thier school dinners - and I know exactly what they've eaten each day.

choccyp1g Thu 08-Sep-11 14:41:13

I'm shocked that the school doesn't allow them to take in a packed lunch. Surely they take up the same amount of space to sit and eat whether it is school dinners or sandwiches.

I thought your OP was suggesting that schools should provide a packed lunch, and was about to say, yes great idea, they could provide a healthy sandwich, fruit, etc., at far less trouble and cheaper than the individual parents can. Though I daresay less children would want a packed lunch if everyone had the same, and they couldn't browbeat their parents into buying crisps etc. "because everyone else has them"

DoingMyVeryBest Thu 08-Sep-11 14:41:59

Also, it's going to cost you about £800 per year to feed 2 on school dinners.

choccyp1g Thu 08-Sep-11 14:42:42

Browbeat I love that word. So much nicer than bully, nag or torment.

mumeeee Thu 08-Sep-11 14:43:45

YANBU. All schools I know of
round here offer the option of. a pack lunch. Some use the same hall as those having school dinners either in separate sittings or together. Others use a different area

Hassled Thu 08-Sep-11 14:43:55

I wonder if it's an attempt by the school to get more parents to apply for Free School Meals? The take-up of FSM has always been very poor, and schools are always keen that parents apply because that in turn affects the funding they get via Pupil Premium.

I do think the lack of choice is wrong - maybe something to take up with the Governing Body?

zelda1982 Thu 08-Sep-11 14:45:33

Well i was thinking that if packed lunchers sat with school dinnerers (lol dunno what to call them) then the Sd's would want the PL.. I dunno, i know a few other parents aren't happy so we may suggest to the head closer to the time. But i'm not the kind of person to complain etc (but would back up anyone who did)

And to pp no i'm a sahm and its literally a 5 min walk to school so thats not really a problem but i'd like dd's to have the chance to socialise at playtime. Oh and its a community school.

zelda1982 Thu 08-Sep-11 14:48:14

and in 18 months when dd3 starts... shock i dont even want to think of £30 a week.

Poogles Thu 08-Sep-11 14:48:35

Our school offers a 'grab bag' option as well as school dinners although children are still able to take their own packed lunch.

lazylula Thu 08-Sep-11 14:53:20

Sorry, I miss read the op and thought they had no where to store the packed lunches! the school I worked in only had a school hall so everyone ate in there, with packed lunches one side and school dinners the other. Ds' class has a dinner hall for dinners and uses the hall for packed lunches. His school also provides a school pack lunch, so we have 3 options, hot dinner, school pack lunch or home packed lunch.
That is a lot of money to budget for each week, packed lunches cost me nothing like that amount!

IndigoBell Thu 08-Sep-11 15:47:24

YANBU and should make a fuss. I'm not even sure if what they're doing is legal.

This is what it says on the CAB website:

All schools must make provision for meals in the middle of the day. This means that a school must provide free supervised facilities for pupils to eat a packed lunch and may provide school meals for all pupils.

worraliberty Thu 08-Sep-11 15:50:36

That's totally ridiculous.

My son's Junior school doesn't have much room so they use one of the classrooms for the packed lunch eaters.

IndigoBell Thu 08-Sep-11 15:52:49

Found it!

They're acting illegally!

From the DFE website: Facilities for pupils not eating school meals

The LA or governing body must provide facilities for pupils not taking school meals to eat meals that they bring to school.

Newbabynewmum Thu 08-Sep-11 15:55:41

My high school had no packed lunches. It still doesn't. I've never really thought it was odd tbh. Just the done thing there.

zelda1982 Thu 08-Sep-11 16:09:58

Thanks indigoBell, i'll keep that website bookmarked for when i need it. I'm hoping another mam brings it up with the school as i hate confrontation.

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