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Can the headmaster force my DD to have school dinners?

(13 Posts)

Surely whether a child has school dinners or not is a choice to be made by the child/family?

However, after a year of having school dinners after she moved to the school after May half term in Year 2 (last year) my DD wanted to return to packed lunches (she had them in her old school). Personally I would prefer her to have school dinners (for various reasons) but she is a somewhat discriminating eater and whilst I do not want to pander to extreme fussy eating I also do not want to hear that all she ate for dinner was half a hard boiled egg and a couple of olives.
In the school's defence they do provide qood quality food for a reasonable price and there is always a veggie option. My DD eats chicken and sausages but no other red meat.
My DD was talked to by the headmaster at the end of last term where she came away with the impression that she must have school dinners.
What can I do? I suggested to the headteacher that each day they have a baked potato option so on the days where she doesn't like what's on offer she could have a spud at least. Headmaster seemed to deliberately miss the point and inform me that she couldn't have abaked potato every day. It can't be a logistical isssue as they make everything from scratch in the kitchen, including youghurt (!)
Do I force the isssue and risk a confrontation with the might of the headmaster? If my DD really wants to have a packed lunch surely she should be able to? She is getting anxious about going into Class 4 next week not knowing if she can have the lunch she wants.

Any advice welcomed please.

WideWebWitch Fri 29-Aug-08 10:19:59

I bet there is an option and he said something that your dd misinterpreted. So "you really must try our lovely dinners!" -could have been heard as "you really must" so I'd send her with a packed lunch and ring up or go in on the first day to check that's ok. And tell her not to worry, bet it's a misunderstanding.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 29-Aug-08 10:21:29

Is it a private school?

tiggerlovestobounce Fri 29-Aug-08 10:24:58

Does anyone else have a packed lunch?

WWW, she's had the school dinners for a year already but wanted to change to packed lunches.
TFM, no, it's not a private school but it might as well be. It's a C of E Foundation school and is the only school in its London borough. Trying not to identify it too much but think financial district in London.

Only a few children have packed lunches. I have asked around in the playground and I believe there are children who want packed lunches but the headteacher appears to have placed a lot of pressure on them/families to have school dinners. I have a sneaky feeling that funding is a major part of this. I just object to being told what we can and can't do in this matter.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 29-Aug-08 10:31:12

Well, if it is a state school and some children take in packed muches, then you can send in a packed lunch.

DO they really have hard boiled eggs and olives for lunch? Chicken and sausages much more likely to be on the menu at ds's schoolgrin

TheFallenMadonna Fri 29-Aug-08 10:31:28



littleducks Fri 29-Aug-08 10:32:32

well if she has had them for a year and was sent home having had an egg and olives i would send her in with a lunch and say that while you really appreciate them trying to encourage her to eat you feel that she has demonstratewd she isnt going to change her eating habits and you dont want her hunger causing behaviourial issues or affecting her concentration on her schoolwork

very hard if she is the only one with packed lunch though

savoycabbage Fri 29-Aug-08 10:32:45

I have taught in a private school where you had to have school lunch.

They can't make you at state schools

littleducks Fri 29-Aug-08 10:33:42

oh if there are a few children with packed lunches dont worry over it

Anna8888 Fri 29-Aug-08 10:35:57

My daughter has the choice between school lunch or coming home for lunch.

I do think schools ought not to force children to eat school food.

They have a salad bar as well as the two options. My issue is not with their provisions, sadly. (It would make my case a lot easier if they were serving up crap). I will support her in whichever my DD chooses, even though I'd rather she had school dinners.

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