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Not to pay this bill?

(35 Posts)
BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 22:30:31

OK this is more wwyd but I wanted wider feedback than just SN forum (although that is useful also).

Basically, ds1 (9) has ASD and a part of that is a total inability to organise himself. He has charts at school (mainstream) and home for what to take but every day he still manages to lose something between school gate and classroom.

DS1 has school dinners, that is often the only meal he eats so I don't want him to change to sandwiches. I had a bill and sarky note home Friday demanding payment as the money is not appearing at school. It certainly isn't coming home again, and he has it at the school gates.

AIBU to say no? I'm on carer's allowance, I can't afford to pay almost £4 a day for a lunch. I ensure the money reaches school, at which point they take over loco parentis.

Or should I just pay up and accept I have to bring him homoe for lunch each day (meaning I have to cancel respite provision that we buy in for ds4 as that would mean I wasn't around for picking one or other up).

He says the money goes from his bag and he has had things stolen before, but knowing him he is losing it.

He is statemented and receives a fair bit of school support but for some reason this one just gers shunted back at me. I'm not sure why I should have to pay double when it is caused A) by his disability; and B) them not dealing with the issue, or even recognising it as a problem.

Feedback please?

SpankyBum Sun 11-Oct-09 22:33:31

Can you not go into the school and pay it yourself/ hand it to an adult?

Our school, it's the cook who deals with all things kitchen related and we have to pay her directly. Can you pay by cheque?

itsmeolord Sun 11-Oct-09 22:33:48

Can you not go into the school and pay it rather than give him the money? Or can you pay via standing order?

My friends son has ASD and she had a similar problem, it turned out he was giving money to people as they had said they would be his friend if he did. sad

She knew nothing until the school sent her a bill. She explained to them she hadn't known it hadn;t been paid, they agreed to standing order to stop it happening again and she paid the arrears in installments.

nancy75 Sun 11-Oct-09 22:35:26

from the school point of view they are not being paid. once this is sorted out could you not send the school a cheque to cover his lunch, so it is not his responsibility.
if you are on benefits are you entitled to free school meals?

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Oct-09 22:35:45

Message withdrawn

QuintessentialShadowsOfDoom Sun 11-Oct-09 22:36:24

Can you pay a month in advance, and take it in yourself? Are you entitled to free meals?

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 22:37:23

There's no facility topay to staff; they opeate a canteen style system where all children in Juniors have to pay direct, the secretary is not linked apparently. I'd love to pay weekly, I do for ds3, but it seems this was voted in by parents before he started the school.

Infants operates similr, but they collect in thew purses to keep until lunchtime. Theys till have to pay at the desk though.

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 22:38:15

Free meal provision here islimited to people earning nothing- unlike in many places working but getting CTC is not a qualifier. Sadly!. It seems LA's set their own criteria

LauraIngallsWilder Sun 11-Oct-09 22:38:49

I would take cash or cheque into the school office weekly, monthly or termly

If the school object you can object about the fact that ds obviously cant cope with the current method because of his asd - my ds with asd would struggle too

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 22:39:06

Tis me Stewie yes

nancy75 Sun 11-Oct-09 22:41:07

could you arrange with the school for them to bill you at the end of each week - they could let him run up a tab of no mare than x per day? obviously they are aware he has asd and should want to help you with this?

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Oct-09 22:41:37

Message withdrawn

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 22:42:54

I will take all these suggestion in tomorrow. My gut instinct is it will be a no as dinnerrs are provided on site but not by thschool IYSWIm so they keep links minimal but the money is going somewhre- bullying, paying for friends (spunds just like him or whatever- £1.90 a day doesn't just vanish, surely?

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 22:45:35

Teacher thing is a no-no parrtly due to me, becuase I negotiated a late start (only 5 minutes or so) becuase I got sick of dragging a crying ds1 into a crowded yard of a morning. It did solve that, but on balance I can't then expect a teacher to leave her vclass and come down 3 flights of stairs to me and the buggy (no lift)

I will see if I can drop with the secretary. And if they want me to pay it they can find out where it goes.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Oct-09 22:49:44

Message withdrawn

onadietcokebreak Sun 11-Oct-09 22:50:46

I didnt think LAs could set their own agenda for Free school meals.

Have a look at direct gov

Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,040

LauraIngallsWilder Sun 11-Oct-09 22:55:04

Do you think other kids knowing that your ds has asd are taking advantage and taking the money?

Because if ds isnt spending it elsewhere or dropping it down a drain where is the money going?

I would want to get the school to answer questions about who is nicking your ds money

Surely as your ds has obvious needs they ought to help him

Goodluck with talking to the school tommorrow

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 22:56:19

Ah yes we get WTC you see- very low income (as dh self employed, no minimum wage!) but nonetheless that eliminates us. would rather be earniong than claiming though, every time.

clam Sun 11-Oct-09 22:58:22

Your son has SN and, not unreasonably, it seems he cannot cope with the school's ridiculous lunch payment scheme. (Never heard of this at primary level - know it's common at secondary). I would be insisting that they find some way of helping him. Or take it further.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 11-Oct-09 22:58:26

If you're getting a bill because he doesn't give in the money you send him in with, I'd just not send him in with any money and pay the bills when they arrive TBH.

onadietcokebreak Sun 11-Oct-09 22:59:23

Sorry but the school are expecting too much from the children to look after the money. It also leaves more vunerable children wide open to bullying. This needs to be address urgently.

I would go in and discuss with head.

1) Possible bullying? More security needed to protect all children

2) Additional help because of special needs.

LissyGlitter Sun 11-Oct-09 23:03:59

Ooh, I actually thought you got free dinners just by having an income of lower than £15,000 or so, like the free prescriptions. Not that my kids are old enough, but that is interesting...

AFAIK, there is talk of making all school dinners free. It is being trialled in durham and newham, I think. Although what the Tories will do to that idea, I don't know...

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 23:05:12

He's been bullied before, I hope yo goodness it's not that, however a Certain Friend has appeared again recently.

If it is bullying I will absolutely weep- the school tried to get the lunchtime ladies on ASD training but they refused and said it was none of their business sad.

Am dreading High School! I hear so much about detentions if you lose anything- he may as well take in a sleeping bag

LissyGlitter Sun 11-Oct-09 23:06:26

My sisters primary school (and she is now 16 and at sixth form, so this was a while ago) had a kind of "credit card" where the parents loaded it up and the kids paid for the food using it. Perhaps it could be worth you suggesting that to the catering company? I think the parents could see online what their children were buying as well, to ensure they were eating properly.

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 23:09:39

The comp runs the credit card system, a friends child with ASD waved his card ever soproudly at me the other day (they thought he wouldnt manage and he is aceing it grin)

Wondering if the school meals dietician could step in if we get nowhere? SHe knows us through ds1 and ds3 as they both have allergies, and she knows ds1 may have anorexia. IIRC the Hed of service also used to work at the school and seemed to think the system there wasnt working but that meeting was a long time ago.

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