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To think that you just can’t leave kids without a meal?

(163 Posts)
FrizzyMcFrizzface Fri 20-Oct-17 13:34:29

We have just been informed that the school dinner provider will no longer provide a lunch (primary school) if the account is not in credit. The school will contact the parents to bring in a pack lunch if that is the case.

I understand the provider is fed up of being in debt but surely you can’t leave a child without dinner for the day? If the parents can’t be contacted for whatever reason or are too far away at work/no relatives nearby etc.

There are always those days for all of us where with the best will in the world you forget or there is some sort of emergency/crisis. AIBU to think this is wrong and in those emergency/rare situations a meal should be provided?

Phosphorus Fri 20-Oct-17 13:36:55

It's only one meal, they won't die. My children often go more than 7 hours without needing food.

It would be nice if the school took a more easy going approach, but if they've outsourced the catering, the bills must be met.

Wolfiefan Fri 20-Oct-17 13:37:35

So who should pay?
It's the responsibility of the parent or guardian to ensure the child is fed. They will be notified if a packed lunch needs to be brought in. If they can't do that then they need to keep the account topped up.

HerRoyalNotness Fri 20-Oct-17 13:38:01

I imagine too many parents are taking the piss. I think that is fair enough.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 20-Oct-17 13:38:53

It's obviously got to the point where it's happening too much and they've got fed up with it. You said that The school will contact the parents to bring in a pack lunch if that is the case, so they wouldn't be left without food surely?

Notreallyarsed Fri 20-Oct-17 13:40:42

If the account is in debt it is the parents who are leaving the children without a meal, the company is a business, they can’t just dole out food for free.
Obviously there should be provisions in place within the school for families who are in need, but a few will be taking the piss too.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 20-Oct-17 13:40:45

They 're a business not a charity. One meal won't hurt a child.

How would the company be in debt if it was just the the odd occasion that there wasn't enough credit. Chances are vetween all the schools they provide for its happened enough for it to have become enough if a problem that they have had to take nore drastic measures.

JonSnowsWife Fri 20-Oct-17 13:41:01

The school bully thought it would be hilarious to hide my DDs packed lunch bag once. The whole staff were looking and were baffled. In the end. They let her have a school dinner. It was in the middle of winter and the bully had shoved DDs packed lunch down the back or the radiator. It was found at himetime(everything was ruined & turned to mush).

I wasn't best impressed when they tried making me pay for the meal. hmm

Understandable if they're repeats 'offenders' and no I dont think they can 'not give food'.

Sirzy Fri 20-Oct-17 13:41:44

days for all of us where with the best will in the world you forget

So it’s ok for a parent to forget to feed their child but not for a company to want to be paid before feeding someone?

If there is a genuine emergency then I am sure School would sort something but on the whole the responsibility falls on the parents to make sure the dinner bill is up to date and if for some reason you can’t you need to talk to School.

KityGlitr Fri 20-Oct-17 13:42:18

I would assume they've got to this point as so many parents have taken the piss, if they aren't paying and the kids keep getting fed then there's no real incentive ultimately to actually start paying? It's awful for the child of course but I'm not convinced it's the school's responsible to keep subsiding their meals if they've given the parents plenty of warning/notice they need to pay up.

However it would be better I think if they are able to at least provide a very simple/cheap snack so that the child isn't ravenously hungry, maybe an apple or a couple of biscuits or whatever is affordable. It's the age old debate of who has responsibility to ensure the child is fed, the school or parents. And if the parents are slacking, whether the child should suffer as a result or not, and whether continuing to feed them without payment just enables the parents to keep doing it. Having said that, one skipped lunch isn't going to harm anyone.

ludothedog Fri 20-Oct-17 13:42:31

Some of the children from most disadvantaged backgrounds will have free lunches anyway. If families are in financial difficulty then I'm sure lunch will be provided (as long as parents have spoken to school before). At least that's how it works in most of the schools that I have contact with.

Problem is that there are so many piss takers who don't pay or who delay payment because they can. Shame because they make it difficult for everyone else.

CountDuckulaTheSqueaky Fri 20-Oct-17 13:42:39

That's better than my DC's school. We're expected to take them home for lunch. We live 45 minutes from the school. They'd be late back for afternoon lessons. thlhmm

I've never been in debt with school dinners, maybe a day late, but they still send the shitty letters. The bursar usually tears them up! thlgrin

SloeSloeQuickQuickGin Fri 20-Oct-17 13:43:52

I agree with your comment that we all get caught out inadvertently so perhaps you could suggest to the school that they email/parent message/text as 48 hour warning that the account is getting low on funds?

A child who has had breakfast at 8am and leaves school at 3pm, unless diabetic etc, and is also a recipient of school milk and free fruit, will not keel over from starvation in that time.

But equally, some parents need to take some responsibility and stop assuming everyone else will parent their child. Remember, this wont be happening to low income families who are in receipt of FSMs and are in real danger of regular hunger.

Some parents need to take some responsiblitiy

MyDcAreMarvel Fri 20-Oct-17 13:44:52

Well it won't happen because the school are breaking the law.

Booboobooboo84 Fri 20-Oct-17 13:45:48

Tbf the business wouldn’t be leaving the chil without lunch- the parent would. They have the opportunity to pay for lunch, they have the opportunity to send child in with a packed lunch as well as being able to bring a pack up in before lunch. If any child goes without it’s the parents fault no one else’s.

CountDuckulaTheSqueaky Fri 20-Oct-17 13:46:52

ludo and some of us are on WTC and don't get free school meals, but the WTC aren't enough to spare £9 a week for school meals. £18 next September when DS2 goes into yr3. thlsad

SloeSloeQuickQuickGin Fri 20-Oct-17 13:47:06

What law are they breaking?

RavingRoo Fri 20-Oct-17 13:52:38

My guess is if this policy leaves certain kids hungry the school will use social services to deal with parents.

MrsOverTheRoad Fri 20-Oct-17 14:01:35

Is this a secondary?

brasty Fri 20-Oct-17 14:02:43

That is how it was when I was a kid. Did not affect me as I got free school meals.
A child going without lunch for 1 day will come to no harm. Presumably if it happens a lot, they will be reported to SS.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Fri 20-Oct-17 14:04:57

No, I don't think the parents should leave their child without lunch.

Seeing as it is the parents' responsibility to provide a lunch either by paying the bill or sending a packed lunch.

Your ire is misplaced.

Birdsgottafly Fri 20-Oct-17 14:05:01

"My guess is if this policy leaves certain kids hungry the school will use social services to deal with parents."

They don't have to involve SS, Schools can implement a CIN plan.

The issue is that people are waiting months for UC etc to come through, so how do the children get fed meanwhile. I am sure in those circumstances the School will use the Welfare fund that they normally have.

The School will have to have a backup plan, but I know of many members of Staff, including Canteen/TA's buying children food. Many take extra fruit etc in. They won't make that public though.

The other side of the coin is that we can't have people being laid off/businesses go bust because of piss takers.

Birdsgottafly Fri 20-Oct-17 14:06:05

Mrs the OP said it was a Primary school.

ShoesHaveSouls Fri 20-Oct-17 14:07:20

For primary, don't you just pay at the beginning of each term?

But no, I don't agree with letting a child go without lunch for whatever the reason.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Fri 20-Oct-17 14:07:57

Meals are free for all infants and those entitled to free school meals. The cost for that is paid by the school.

Ime the people who don't pay regularly (not a one off where someone's forgotten) are not experiencing hardship.

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