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To send in a packed lunch?

(11 Posts)
caitlinohara Thu 15-Jun-17 17:48:50

Ds3 will be starting yr1 in sept. School has asked that "in line with other schools in the area" children in reception, 1 and 2 have the free school dinner provided and we are not to send in a packed lunch. They have said they are prepared to look at the menu to accommodate different children's preferences.

Is this commonplace elsewhere? Do others send packed lunches in instead of having the free dinner and how does your school feel about this? I'm just a bit confused because the reasoning (as gleaned from other parents) seems to be admin related, but there are only 40-odd kids IN THE ENTIRE SCHOOL, so how hard can it be??

Fwiw, ds doesn't particularly like most of the dinners, they don't give him enough so that he is hungry at pickup time, and they often give him the wrong thing.

Steeley113 Thu 15-Jun-17 17:51:45

How strange. My son is in reception and has his free dinner but quite a few of the fussy ones take a packed lunch. It is a small school too.

caitlinohara Thu 15-Jun-17 18:07:43

My first assumption was that it was something to do with funding, so I was a bit more prepared to work with them on it, but it seems not. I get that it must be harder to deal with kids who sometimes have a packed lunch and sometimes a dinner, as mine does (because he likes the roast dinner once a week!) but given that they have to order dinners half a term in advance, and the fact that there are so few children in total, has me stumped!

FusionChefGeoff Thu 15-Jun-17 18:07:51

My guess is it's the low numbers are the problem. If 5/10 kids decided to do packed lunches, it would probably make costs unmanageable for the rest e.g. delivery etc would be higher than the allocated funding.

Sirzy Thu 15-Jun-17 18:10:54

Our school encourage the infants to have the school meals.

Fusion makes a good point as it's a small school.

Groupie123 Thu 15-Jun-17 18:11:50

Same here, and there are a three hundred children in the school. We were told it's because parents don't always make the healthiest choices, and so it was banned for everyone. In all fairness they do make really healthy meals and keep track of what the kids eat so if one week all they eat is pasta, then the next they aren't offered pasta at all.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Thu 15-Jun-17 18:13:58

That sounds strange.

We are in Scotland and get fsm until P3, after that they cost £1.60. Kids have 4 options and a menu with a 3 week rotating selection, or they can take a packed lunch or go home.

Perhaps they don't want to deal with allergy issues or as mentioned it is economies of scale and if all the children don't take school meals it will become too expensive for them.

I would push to be allowed a packed lunch too, I have 3 fussy DC and even though the school menu is great and varied there is always a day when they won't eat anything!

caitlinohara Thu 15-Jun-17 20:44:07

Thanks for your replies.

I suppose it could be the economy of scale thing. The meals are made on site though so it's not like they are ordering in actual dinners?

Ds2 who is in Y3 says that the younger children hardly get anything compared to the older (paying) children - I have a suspicion that the free dinners are to some extent subsidising the paid ones...

madamginger Thu 15-Jun-17 20:53:49

They tried this at our school but Ds2 won't eat them and would rather starve.
We give a packed lunch but on census day he has a school dinner so they get the funding for him.

Passthecake30 Thu 15-Jun-17 20:55:32

We can do either at our school, but we have to give half a term notice to change

SparklyLeprechaun Thu 15-Jun-17 21:01:40

We've had this at my kids school for a few years now. It's absolutely fine.

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