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How common is compulsory school dinners?

(10 Posts)
hiearchical Sun 13-Mar-16 18:31:32

A relatively new school in my area has compulsory school dinners. I can see the benefits for school finances, especially for a growing school. But I wonder how common it is as I haven't heard of it before. I wouldn't have thought it could be enforceable, but apparently the students aren't allowed to bring packed lunches.

irvine101 Sun 13-Mar-16 18:44:21

What about children with multiple allergies?

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Sun 13-Mar-16 18:57:07

I don't know about secondary but a primary school here has compulsory school lunches - exceptions are made for medical reasons, which would, I imagine, cover allergies

voddiekeepsmesane Sun 13-Mar-16 20:30:22

And those families who aren't entitled to FSM but have multiple school lunches hasn't it been proven that packed lunch is cheaper in those circumstances. Also the school MUST have a good system in place. Our DS is on FSM but finds that most days there is a long queue and sometimes they run out of stuff and this is a school that 1/3 bring in their own packed lunch.

Natsku Sun 13-Mar-16 20:33:43

How can they make a rule like that unless its a private school? Surely if the children have to pay for their lunch it can't be compulsory? School dinners are compulsory here but free for everyone - I would not be happy at all if it was compulsory but cost money.

littleducks Sun 13-Mar-16 20:39:48

One of the new academies near us had this in its prospectus as a rule. The food was Asian vegetarian curries, probably fab if you like that kind of thing and crap if you don't. In don't know how enforced the rule is though as it isn't that popular with parents for other reasons atm.

hiearchical Sun 13-Mar-16 20:46:19

Natsku, it isn't a private school, and yes they do have to pay for their lunch - I don't know how much though - I expect if everyone has it then it will at least keep costs to a minimum.

Interestingly it is not mentioned in their charging policy, whereas the expectation that parents will pay for costs of extracurricular trips and activities is mentioned.

DraenorQueen Sun 13-Mar-16 20:50:22

Our school has this policy but the meals are heavily subsidised - £1/day. We are in an extremely deprived area and it means the children get at least one hot meal a day. Local businesses with whom we have links sometimes fund a child's dinner for a term so we can offer that when families are going through a particularly bad patch. It definitely works for us.

MissTurnstiles Sun 13-Mar-16 23:36:11

Increasingly common in many London schools, at least, where I'm aware of 'family style' lunches. Pupils sit with their tutor groups and tutor (who gets their lunch provided) and eat together, taking collective responsibility for serving the food, clearing away etc. A very effective model of sociable eating in areas where many kids don't have a dining table at home.

Marmitelover55 Tue 15-Mar-16 15:09:35

My DC's school have compulsory school meals in years 7-9 - it is a state academy.

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