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to be a littled peed off with school?

(57 Posts)
InSummer Wed 09-Jul-14 17:37:44

Back story... Claimed free school dinners for DD to try. Didn't like them, but thought oh well the school will get this funding. Didn't know what pupil premium was but when I found out I thought well it's a govt thing, no harm done.

Even though DD was back on packed lunches within a week, the school cater for her as pupil premium on school trips. I've told them not to give her their packed lunch as well as mine, but they do. Slightly annoying considering she is healthy and solid but got told she was overweight by the foundation stage weighing thing. This only happens now and then so not too fussed.

Anyway, today DD comes home with a 'special' patronising book bag for the summer holidays with activities 'put together by parents as we know how the holidays can be hard.' Or words to that effect.

In DD's words she has it "because I'm on free dinners". Apparently if they do it they stand up in front of assembly and get a certificate. There is 4 out if 30 in DD's class who got one, so surely the other children will ask why? DD seemes to know why.

Am I over reacting if I take it back in? I just feel like the children have been singled out.

gobbin Wed 09-Jul-14 17:43:23

You seem to have one massive chip on your shoulder about free school meals and the extra support that is being put in place.

Of course, you don't have to accept it, and maybe the way the packs were given out was insensitive but, well, meh. I wouldn't get my knickers in a twist over it.

WorraLiberty Wed 09-Jul-14 17:47:47

Are you sure the packs aren't given to everyone?

She doesn't have to do the activities and stand up for the certificate

Also, I don't get what her being overweight has to do with the school making her packed lunch. It's not like they're going to force her to eat it as well as the one you sent her with.

InSummer Wed 09-Jul-14 17:47:55

I don't mind people knowing we're entitled.

If I could show what was in the packs, it feels like they're basically saying because you have free dinners, you probably won't do anything with your children over the summer.

Sorry that didn't come accross properly in my OP.

WorraLiberty Wed 09-Jul-14 17:49:54

No, they're saying the holidays can be expensive

And they can be, so people on a lower income are likely to struggle more

It's a thoughtful thing they're doing.

SapphireMoon Wed 09-Jul-14 17:50:02

I would have a problem with the singling out in assembly thing too.

InSummer Wed 09-Jul-14 17:50:29

With regards to the packed lunch, I just said thanks but could you not give it to her as I make it.

They said we still give them out but they tend to only eat the biscuit. Which is why I thought well just don't give her two lunches then.

InSummer Wed 09-Jul-14 17:53:24

I take people's points but it isn't just ideas for places etc, it's extra work sheets and things. I am totally prepared to be told I'm BU, it just feels like I'm being told my child must be struggling because we're lower income.

Topseyt Wed 09-Jul-14 17:55:07

I wouldn't take it back. It has already been given to your daughter.

The allocation of the packs may have been done a little insensitively, but these could be limited resources and they have to apply some sort of criteria.

I get that she didn't want school dinners, but I don't get why you are annoyed that they are providing packed lunch for her when she goes on school trips. Surely if they are doing that then it gives you a break from making one for a day.

WorraLiberty Wed 09-Jul-14 17:55:52

If you're determined to see it that way, it's up to you.

But I just see it as the work sheets will keep them occupied

How old is your child and how do you know only 4 out of 30 got the packs?

Fram Wed 09-Jul-14 17:58:23

They give them a biscuit in their school packed lunch? shock WHatever happened to healthy eating and the Lunch Box Police, who go around stealing anything with salt/sugar/fat in?

Children on FSM still tend to do less well at school on the whole. It doesn't mean that parents of children eligible for FSM are feckless, or don't interact with them, or wouldn't amuse/stretch them over the summer break. But the attainment gap is a yawning chasm in some areas! People need to try and address it.

woodlandfairypool Wed 09-Jul-14 17:58:57

The problem is that the pupil premium money HAS to be spent on those children - schools would be in trouble (no, really!) if they used the money just to buy a box of books or similar.

As such these children are singled out to a certain extent - it must feel rubbish, I understand this.

InSummer Wed 09-Jul-14 18:02:09

Once she stopped having the dinners, I didn't know she'd get the pack lunches. Then she told me and I said oh, I'll just tell them not to bother on the next trip.

She's year one. I know as I asked if she was sure everyone didn't get them.

ILoveCoreyHaim Wed 09-Jul-14 18:07:30

My kids were the only 2 kids in the whole school on free dinners when i wasnt working. The school gave them envelopes for me to give to them to hand in so they were not the only kid in the class without dinner money after one dc asked the teacher why we didnt get dinner money envelopes. This was a couple of year ago mind

InSummer Wed 09-Jul-14 18:09:34

Ok so the conclusion I'm getting is that I'm a bit over sensitive but do think the school have been a bit insensitive too.

I guess I don't like the label being there. We're encouraged to claim even if we don't use them, but not told about PP.

InSummer Wed 09-Jul-14 18:12:14

That's sweet about the envelopes.

I just feel like DD is a bit singled out because her Dad died, I don't want a label put on her when we're both doing pretty well actually.

startwig1982 Wed 09-Jul-14 18:14:47

In our (secondary) school, there's a lot of focus on pupil premium as they do generally achieve under what they should. Ofsted have a big thing about them as do the government. It's not meant to be an insult: they're trying to support you and not in a negative way!

noblegiraffe Wed 09-Jul-14 18:20:04

She is now pupil premium and will be for the next 5 years, just so you are aware.

Pupil premium students do significantly worse than non-pp students throughout their schooling. This stuff is to try to fill gaps for those students. You might not need it, but by god some other kids do, and at the moment, pp is the best way of getting resources to them.

InSummer Wed 09-Jul-14 18:22:55

Yeah I get that. But I do think it would have been better to have arranged to give the children the certificates during reading time in a little group or something.

And it still does feel patronising the way they've written about other parents compiling it.

InSummer Wed 09-Jul-14 18:25:37

Ok. I literally just thought free dinners would be just that, until you didn't need them.

BlackeyedSusan Wed 09-Jul-14 18:30:32

ah I'm with you OP. I have been on the end of patronising people too. Apparently, I do not know what is best for teaching my child to read... although I was teaching while the person in question was still in nappies

Eebahgum Wed 09-Jul-14 18:33:40

I can see your point but also understand why they do it. Pupil premium and free school meals children are given extra funding by the government as statistically they don't do as well as other children. Schools have to prove what they have done with the money and the ways they are trying to support these children in addition to the support other children receive. It is with good intentions, but it's really hard to show you've spent the money properly without singling the children out. And there are some pp and fsm children who have fantastic support at home and don't need extra. But the money still has to be spent on them. I guess it depends on whether those children are in the minority or majority what type of support they will receive.

InSummer Wed 09-Jul-14 18:42:25


InSummer Wed 09-Jul-14 18:46:17

Stupid phone.
Ok so just looked in the gov website. It says £963 a year funding for each funded pupil. No way dinners cost that much. DD doesn't need any support at school and got mostly level 2's on report. I am starting to feel a bit duped into getting the school extra funding at the cost of my child being labelled.

cairocruiser Wed 09-Jul-14 19:48:47

Pupil premium has actually gone up to £1,300 per primary school child this year; and this is in addition to (and separate from) the budget the school will receive to fund your DD's free school meals.

The £1,300 has to be spent on your DD. I'm sure the school only want to do the best for your DD and would not mean to deliberately single her out. So, if you're not happy with how they are spending the money, could you perhaps meet with the Head, express your concerns and put forward some ideas of your own? I know of DCs who have been sent on summer sports camps for example; others who have had laptops/tablets provided for their homes; another who had story CDs provided for him to listen to at home at bedtime as his mother could not read.

Forgive me but you say your DD's father died - are there any resources / support you think your DD would benefit from, to help her with that?

Like you I am uncomfortable with the idea of a child being labelled in front of their peers as being on free meals. Some schools bend over backwards to make sure their FSM children do not stand out. One school I know has bought a selection of colourful lunchboxes to put the packed lunches for school trips in - so it is not obvious they haven't come from home.

Having said all this, if you're in England from September ALL infants will be eligible for free school meals anyway. Your DD will still get the pupil premium; but everyone in the class will get a free school meal.

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