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My child went without food all day at school

(63 Posts)
Frivolous Sun 14-Oct-12 11:46:25

My dc started school in reception, so is 4.
We have a turbulent time, settling him in. Various issues, that I don't wish to go into on a public forum.
My ds is fairly happy now, sociable and friendly with a getting on with it attitude. Some days he doesn't want to go, but he is fine once he is there.

One day last week, I discovered that ds had been without lunch. His lunchbox got damaged and his food was inedible. After school, I spoke to both teacher and TA and they said it was up to him to mention it. The damage happened first thing in the morning and I doubt he would realise the implications of the damage.
On the journey home, ds told me he hadn't had any snack either as there was none left. So he had had nothing to eat all day.

I am all for teaching responsibility, ds has lots of chores at home that others think i am mean to give him. He has lots of responsibility in school too: sorting coat, bag, pe kit, water bottle, lunch box, name badge before sitting down for registration.
Should a child fresh into school be expected to starve all day because they haven't put their hand up to draw attention to the problem?

SoupDragon Sun 14-Oct-12 11:47:41

How were the teachers meant to know if he didn't say anything?

seeker Sun 14-Oct-12 11:48:56

How were they supposed to know?

usualsuspect3 Sun 14-Oct-12 11:49:28

Maybe he was scared to say anything, if he feels so responsible for himself.

He's only 4

seeker Sun 14-Oct-12 11:49:41

And what on earth happened to his lunchbox to make his food inedible?

MaryPoppinsBag Sun 14-Oct-12 11:49:46

In what way was his food inedible?

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 14-Oct-12 11:50:30

I don't mean to sound harsh so please forgive me but if a teacher had to spend all her time checking 30 lunch boxes for damage so kids had lunch, and checking the food in the boxes was still ok then she wouldn't get much teaching done. But they should have either called you when the situation became apparent and asked you to bring stuff in or asked permission to give a school lunch.

EdithWeston Sun 14-Oct-12 11:51:25

He won't starve from missing one meal.

How are the teachers/lunch cover staff meant to know if there's a problem if he doesn't say?

LeeCoakley Sun 14-Oct-12 11:53:12

Lots of scope for 'blame' here! Did an adult know about the damage? Did he only realised when he sat down to eat that the food was inedible? Did he tell the lunchtime supervisor? If a problem isn't raised then I don't see how anyone could help. If on the other hand they realised early in the day that he had no food then either they should have called you for a replacement lunch or rustled one up from the kitchen.

Frivolous Sun 14-Oct-12 11:53:29

I would have expected someone - Lunch time staff might have seen the state of his lunch box.
Yoghurt was splattered everywhere, seeped into wrappings of other food.
usual the school doesn't allow parents in to help with offloading things. At home he has jobs such as taking plates into kitchen, putting things in wash basket. Is this too much? (Genuine question)

usualsuspect3 Sun 14-Oct-12 11:55:09

These things happen at school, perhaps he thought he would get into trouble.

Tell him it's ok to tell the teachers or dinner ladies if he has a problem.

Frivolous Sun 14-Oct-12 11:57:29

He is a quiet boy. The lunch staff can spot offending items at 100 paces yet can't see a problem with a reception child's lunchbox? Who I would have thought would require more help than older children.
Of course he won't starve, but its not conducive to learning having an empty tummy

LadySybildeChocolate Sun 14-Oct-12 11:58:23

So he didn't eat his lunch as it was covered in yogurt? It's not ideal, but children don't usually care. Maybe it's a good idea for him to have a school lunch in future? It's not the teacher's fault, how was she/he to know?

LeeCoakley Sun 14-Oct-12 11:58:51

Lunchtime staff will be busy overseeing other things - cutting up food, opening yoghurts, crisps plastic containers etc, Apart from dealing with injuries, crying, wrong hot dinners, bad behaviour, getting everyone seated, the list is endless! Having to check that a meal is edible probably wouldn't have occurred to them!

ShatnersBassoon Sun 14-Oct-12 11:59:06

Are you certain he didn't eat anything? The lunch staff would have certainly noticed him not eating, and would have given him something from the hot lunch if his packed lunch was indeed completely ruined. There is no way on earth that they wouldn't have made sure he'd had something, even if they did just pick out what was OK from the yogurty lunchbox.

School staff care about the children in their care, they're not likely to punish children for having leaky yogurts.

Frivolous Sun 14-Oct-12 12:04:08

I'm not blaming any particular person, but surely someone might have spotted it. At that point, I would have hoped it would have been rectified.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sun 14-Oct-12 12:04:20

Are there lunch time supervisors in the dining hall? I don't think it's unreasonable to expect them to be taking a bit of interest in what the youngest members of the school are up to at lunch time.

mrz Sun 14-Oct-12 12:08:25

I'm surprised lunchtime staff didn't notice to be honest. Our's are very good at reporting to teaching staff if a child hasn't eaten much of their packed lunch and would normally find an alternative school meal if a child's lunch was so badly damaged as to be inedible.

mummytime Sun 14-Oct-12 12:11:50

I personally would mention it to teachers. At my DCs school they have always listened when I have told them about my two kids who under certain circumstances skip lunch. For my son he did actually often eat his packed lunch on the journey home.
There isn't too much teachers can do, but at least if for warned they can realise that hunger can be a cause of bad behaviour/distraction/seeming ill after lunch; and at DCs school they can usually fing something for a kids to eat if necessary.

Ephiny Sun 14-Oct-12 12:12:09

I think you're over-reacting - no one is not going to 'starve' from skipping lunch, and if you gave him breakfast and tea, he wasn't 'without food all day'.

I'm not sure what you expected them to do about it tbh, or how they were supposed to know if he didn't tell anyone. Maybe have a chat with him about what he should do if a similar thing happens in future?

Rosebud05 Sun 14-Oct-12 12:14:55

I don't think it's the teacher or TA's responsibility, but the lunchtime staff should be more vigilant with the little ones.

The staff at our school help the little ones with opening yoghurts etc and I'm surprised that no-one noticed that your son's lunch was inedible and that he had nothing to eat.

Does he know the name of any of the lunchtime supervisors? It will help him if he knows who to mention any problems to.

SoupDragon Sun 14-Oct-12 12:15:10

The "blame" here lies with your son for not telling someone his lunch had been ruined. I don't mean "blame" in a harsh sense smile,just that he needs to learn to tell a teacher if there is a problem.

With lots to supervise, one child sitting quietly prodding his lunch may easily go unnoticed.

LeeCoakley Sun 14-Oct-12 12:15:37

...and of course, make sure that yoghurts are wrapped in future!

LeeCoakley Sun 14-Oct-12 12:17:15

I'm just wondering that maybe they did see it and thought it was ok and it was just your ds who decided he couldn't eat it? Did the food come home so you could check?

cansu Sun 14-Oct-12 12:19:44

I think this falls into the category of one of those things. It really isn't anyone's fault that your ds didn't eat his lunch. If he didn't say and no one noticed then that's unfortunate but not anyone's fault. Unless you believe they deliberately ignored there was a problem you are over reacting. Just have a chat with your ds and explain what he should do in a similar situation again.

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