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to expect dd to actually have time to eat her lunch at school

(12 Posts)
somewhereaclockisticking Wed 27-Mar-13 18:16:24

dd2 has come home yet again with her lunch - she was on last sitting at school and the rule is you cannot eat anywhere in the school except the canteen and you have to stick to your allocated sitting but once inside the hall/canteen you cannot actually eat unless your bum is on a chair at a table. She went into the canteen and couldn't find a seat anywhere. The lunch time is only 40 minutes and I think that this allows about 3 sittings - she's a packed lunch so I've told her to sneak off somewhere and eat it but she's too scared to in case she's found out and gets a behaviour point or detention. She has said that at times some children have actually been refused entry into the canteen due to no seats being availble - even if it is their sitting. I am sure that the school will just claim that this isn't the case but there's no reason she would come home hungry and unhappy just to make this up. When I spoke to a friend about this she was surprised that lunch was only 40 mins long and I have to say that when I was at school I'm sure we were given about 1 hr 15 mins - the queues would be really long so plenty of time had to be given for those who had to queue to buy a lunch - but we were also allowed to eat packed lunches where we wanted and even allowed to leave school premises to get fish and chips locally. Obviously the problem is not enough seating for all the kids in the school but I find it unfair that the last sitting find it difficult to find a seat yet don't feel it's right that 1st and 2nd sitting kids should be hurried to eat their food up just to make room for the other kids.

Tee2072 Wed 27-Mar-13 18:17:40

So complain to the school.

somewhereaclockisticking Wed 27-Mar-13 18:19:31

but how to word a letter so that they take it seriously and can't just fob me off and say that it's not true - all the kids have plenty of time to eat - 3 sittings over 40 minutes is only just over 10 minutes per sitting but I'm sure they'll claim it's worked for years before

scaredbutexcited Wed 27-Mar-13 18:19:49

You need to speak to the school about this.

GwendolineMaryLacey Wed 27-Mar-13 18:20:15

We're the other end of the problem.

DD1 is in reception and not a particularly slow eater. She has the first sitting and comes home with her lunch uneaten most days as they also have an allocated slot and if they haven't finished then the person next in their seat has to wait on a bench until they're finished. Having a bigger child huffing and puffing makes her stressed and she leaves her lunch just to get out of the way.

scaredbutexcited Wed 27-Mar-13 18:22:29

I would see what they say rather than just assume they will fob you off.

Also, perhaps arrange a meeting rather than write a letter so that you can talk through issues at the time.

This is something that needs to be addressed fairly quickly. I would be concerned that writing a letter could lead to it being protracted. You could always back up your points with a letter/email after the meeting as well.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Wed 27-Mar-13 18:28:02

What about mentioning it to her teacher

gobbin Wed 27-Mar-13 19:31:01

Many schools have cut back on lunch times in order to reduce the potential for unwanted behaviour. Ours is only 45 mins to get 1000 kids through two canteens (one small, one large).

I would write to the school expressing your concerns and asking for the dining policy to be clarified as it isn't right that a child is going without food.

thebody Wed 27-Mar-13 20:14:47

Email her class tutor or phone. Ours get back to us the same day and are fantastic.

They should sort it.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 27-Mar-13 20:29:12

how old is she? Is she avoiding the lunchroom for some reason? Is she ok in other areas at school? Sociable and doing ok academically?

somewhereaclockisticking Wed 27-Mar-13 21:40:04

She's 13 and going into the canteen but then cannot find a seat so has to leave because she says she'll get told off for eating whilst standing up. She is very timid and cries if she gets into trouble over anything - which isn't trouble as in she's misbehaving but she recently got into trouble because her artwork looked like a 6 year old had drawn it - according to her teacher in front of the whole class so that made her cry (It's actually true her artwork is very very immature but it's not something to show a child up about) - she gets told off for not being able to keep up in class etc etc so she tries her best to be invisible at school - there's no way she would stand up for herself regarding anything - to her if it's school policy that she has to eat in the canteen and be sitting down then she will follow those rules to the letter and just go without food. I have e-mailed the school and see what response I get. I think they cut the lunchtime down to slip in an extra lesson so they do 6 lessons a day when it was previously 5 but then they also cut down the length of time so lessons are all 40 minutes long as well. The school just annoys me with alot of petty little rules like you can't have your locker key on a keyring and you can't take bags into the classroom only the pen you need to write with!

larks35 Wed 27-Mar-13 22:12:21

Don't get too bogged down by what you see as petty rules. Many of these rules are in place to ensure that a smallish building can cope with over 1000 teenagers spending their day and hopefully learning throughout.

My advice would be to firstly contact your DD's tutor. She/he would hopefully know your daughter and understand her timidity in dealing with the hustle and bustle of the canteen. If it were me, I'd invite her and a few of her friends to lunch in my classroom but I am a bit of a soft touch.

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