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to think a school should provide somewhere warm and dry to eat lunch?

(37 Posts)
DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 22-Sep-09 13:38:41

Picked ds1 up from school for a rare lunch time treat, its drizzly and blustery today so was surprised to see all the sandwich kids sat outside (nowhere near enough tables, so mostly on the ground) eating lunch.

Very few had coats on (I watched dd doing the same thing without a coat so I know he has one with him).

The new Headmaster has brought this in as a method of reducng the pressure on the canteen as Ofsted did describe it (years ago, due a review this year) as too small, with no heating and woefully inadequate. Apparently there is actually heating but due to size constraints they have to leave all the doors open.

Which was bad enough but- how can this be a solution?

Also noticed there is no additional staffing (one supervisor and one staff member) on view, which correlates with dd's complaints about having had parts of her lunch taken most days- although am hoping that has beena ddressed now after a chat last week, quite inevitable in a junior if unsupervised IMO.

Will be sending ds school dinners* (dd already has them)from next week if this persists, but clearly not an option for everyone due to canteen size....

Not sure if I am being precious or not?

* sent them different methods deliberately so as to separate them as ds1 has SN and school were leaving ds2 to care for him: separate issue entirely, but thought worth explaining why LOL

dilemma456 Tue 22-Sep-09 14:32:41

Message withdrawn

nappyaddict Tue 22-Sep-09 14:35:12

Do your DC go to my local school? They do that there!! At the other they all eat in the classrooms.

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 22-Sep-09 14:35:14

They ahve a hall, no idea why it isn't used- would seem obvious to me, but I know there were issues last year (briefly, dd ended up hospitalised after some sort of coating on the floor melted and effectively glued him to the floor before he jumped up and twuisted his foot, tearing the skin off- not nice)

But I am jumping to conclusions, may not be linked to that at all.

notgettinganyyounger Tue 22-Sep-09 14:35:52

YANBU - children being forced to sit outside in the wind and rain for their lunch because they choose not to have school dinners is barbaric. Get thee to the headmaster and say your bit woman.

StealthPolarBear Tue 22-Sep-09 14:36:33

this school sounds badly managed!

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 22-Sep-09 14:36:38

NA mybe LOL- the other school does eat in hall (don't think so really, am not in England)

SecretNinjaChipmunk Tue 22-Sep-09 14:37:49

wow that school sounds a bit scarily managed to me. i'd be right in there complaining.

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 22-Sep-09 14:38:04

Stealth- brand new head, can't meet them until october (letter sent out) so hard to judge atm.

Did get a call from teacher just this minute saying second child has been bullied again today but they are now aware and watching which is a bonus.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 22-Sep-09 14:39:12

And what will the school do in the middle of winter when the sleet is falling? No, that's just not right, I second the get thee to the headmaster. And if you don't get satisfaction, move on to the governors, council, local paper and local MP.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 22-Sep-09 14:40:51

How about suggesting that the teachers eat outside with these children?

StableButDeluded Tue 22-Sep-09 14:42:32

YANBU. What are they going to do in winter, send them out to picnic in the snow?

We used to have packed lunch in a designated classroom.

I'm very intrigued by this school... nowhere for children to eat lunch, strange flooring substances that grip onto hapless children, tearing their flesh off...

What is this evil place of which you speak? smile

Hulababy Tue 22-Sep-09 14:44:16

Where do the hot dinner children sit?

At the school I work at half of the assembly hall is set out for those having hot dinners, the other half for those having packed lunch. Over the 1hr10min lunch break the 270 children (it is an infant school with 3 classes of 30 in each of the 3 years) taeke it in turns to eat. A dinner laddy goes into the playground and calls in class x dinners and class x packed lunches, and so on til they are all through.

In nice weather the packed lunch children eat their dinner in the garden area which is set out with tables and chairs, again the year groups taking it in turns if required.

Hulababy Tue 22-Sep-09 14:46:15

WhereYouLeftIt - I doubt teachers are on duty during lunch hours. It is not generally part of their designated hours (so in effect, an unpaid break) and they will be free to go and eat or use their lunch break as they like. It is vey unlikely to be a teacher's decision as to where childrn eat - this would be decided by the head teacher, and/pr governors, along with th dining staff employed to supervise and manage dinner time.

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 22-Sep-09 14:47:22

There's a canteen the size of two classrooms that dates back to the ark- but is shared with an infants school that is separate but close at hand; a total of @ 500 pupils in all at a semi- informed guess. There are a few tables benches that have appeared over the summer, but at elast half the children were on the floor as they were full. Had my other child been without a chair they'd have been brought home as well.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 22-Sep-09 14:47:44

Why can't they eat in a classroom?
I appreciate the pressure on space, but this is a bizarre solution.
Go in, make sure it's not a one-off and as HT isn't available I suggest a strongly worded letter to Chair of Governors making references to risk assessments, possible breaches of health and safety policies etc.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Tue 22-Sep-09 14:49:09


Thats ridiculous.

At ds's school they ate in their classrooms whilst the big hall was being built. They had a small hall but not big enough for all classes.

They can't continue outside for much longer can they. It's lovely down here on the South Coast at the moment but the weather will get worse.

EvilEdnasTwinSister Tue 22-Sep-09 14:52:26

I agree with what more or less everyone else has said!

At my youngest DDs school they had lunch in their classroom for a while when they couldn't use the hall, and although they have had lunch outside it is hardly something they can do for much longer.

Definitely would go in and complain if it were me smile

DoNotPressTheRedButton Tue 22-Sep-09 14:53:58

If it was alst week i'dhave said lovely idea- but today it's the worst of welsh autumn IYKWIM, not pleasant

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 22-Sep-09 14:59:57

Hulababy - not suggesting that teachers are on duty over lunchtime (although I can see how it does look a bit like that), more that if the staff shared the 'facilities' that the children have to endure there'd be more enthusiasm for a better solution than this.

Squishabelle Tue 22-Sep-09 15:09:37

DDs school is exactly the same. I think its a punishment for not purchasing school lunbches.

pigletmania Tue 22-Sep-09 15:14:41

YANBA this is disgraceful, the school should provide somewhere warm and dry within the school grounds for EVERYONE to eat lunch angry. seems as though they are just making excuses and are penalising kids for not buying things within the canteen, as cafes do.

pigletmania Tue 22-Sep-09 15:15:59

complain the the head immediately or ofstead or head of education in your local council, if not get your local MP involved.

Stayingsunnygirl Tue 22-Sep-09 15:28:21

At the dses previous primary school, the juniors who were having packed lunches ate in their classrooms, with a Year6 monitor to keep an eye on them. It wasn't ideal, as the Year 6s had a bit of a tendency to try to hurry people through their lunches so that they could get out to play themselves, but at least they were properly seated, warm and dry, and had some sort of supervision.

This was to reduce the pressure on the dining hall which was shared by the infants and juniors, and which was small, to say the least.

I would be complaining to the school, and to the governors and ofsted if this is not immediately resolved. Children sitting on the damp ground in the rain to eat their lunches?? Utterly unacceptable when there are other options.

TheArmadillo Tue 22-Sep-09 15:47:25

YANBU - when i was at school (secondary) we had to be outside to eat packed lunch - even in the snow/pouring rain etc. It was not fun and also we had the space but they didn't want to supervise kids inside (we weren't allowed inside at lunchtime/breaktime unless school dinners - you had to fight even to be allowed to use the toilets).

It was awful then and we were older.

Hate to think of them doing it to much younger children.

Nothing worse than sitting in the rain freezing cold eating your increasingly soggy sandwiches.

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