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Free School Meals Funded by Private School Parents

Discussion in 'Education news' started by JosieWhitehead, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

  2. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I sometimes wonder how we children who grew up with rationing during the war years have reached well into retirement years without free school meals - - - or are times worse than those days today?
    Anonymity and blowswind like this.
  3. MonMothma

    MonMothma Lead commenter

    I think that if there is a lot of money for education from anywhere, it should be used on other things that have been proven to raise standards - I'm not sure free school meals is the way to go.
    JosieWhitehead and blowswind like this.
  4. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    Given that the poorest already get FSM, and the fact that there's a huge funding crisis, I feel the monet raised would be best spent elsewhere.

    A child with a full tummy will not learn much, no matter how much more well nourished, without a qualified teacher in front of them.
  5. blowswind

    blowswind Occasional commenter

    Sums Labour up at the moment. Something hardly anybody wants or needs.
  6. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    The Times states today that FSM equates to two months' worth of extra progress. No idea how well researched that is, of course.
  7. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    This is absolutely needed. There are many in-work families who struggle to pay for school meals, and choose unhealthy packed lunches instead. Also some children are very fussy eaters and ask for packed lunch because they just want to have chocolate spread sandwiches, crisps and capri sun juice every day. If a hot, nutritious meal were provided for free I'm sure hardly any parents would opt to make a packed lunch.

    The effects of eating healthily and cutting out the junk cannot be underestimated. We do everything we can to improve children's health (P.E) wellbeing (counsellors, mentors etc.) and academic achievement, but one thing that can vastly improve all of these is nutrition. From the minute they walk in the school door we should treat children as we would our own in this respect. Free fruit at morning break, water available, and free healthy lunch. So many children are coming in to school under-nourished and not just the ones on FSM. Many also don't have breakfast which is why I think they need a mid-morning snack. Let's look after the whole child and raise the next generation properly. Get them into good eating habits from a young age, and also teach them how to cook healthy food from scratch.
    vannie and pineapplehead like this.
  8. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    Another benefit of this would be to end the whole stigma of FSM. It's quite embarrassing when you first join a school and have to tell the women in the office that you're on FSM. All teachers know who the FSM children are. They get a free packed lunch in a brown paper bag on school trips. I think everyone should be treated the same. I don't even agree with the whole pupil premium thing. Some working families are struggling even more with rent etc. and childcare costs.
    pineapplehead likes this.
  9. blowswind

    blowswind Occasional commenter

    I see more problems with over nourishment than under nourishment.

    Sorry but it's not needed, not at all.

    Children who are genuinely under nourished should be referred to the relevant support. Procedures for this have long been in place.
    ElPintor and TEA2111 like this.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    How about those children who have parents only just able to send them to private school. Add VAT on to the fees and suddenly there are hundreds more children arriving from the independent sector. They then also need a 'universal free school meal' each day. The profits available will be negligible.

    Not very well thought through me thinks...
  11. katykook

    katykook Occasional commenter

    Why not just raise the threshold at which parents can claim free school meals? I give my kids healthy packed lunches because I don't trust the processed food produced by most school dinner providers.
    needabreak and JosieWhitehead like this.
  12. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    Daft idea! Can't think of one positive, but a list of negatives. And on the side... what about those children who don't like school dinners? I had a child in my class last year on FSM who was a nightmare to feed at lunchtime and made the lunchtime supervisors and my life hell.
    JosieWhitehead likes this.
  13. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Hmmm - Junk food is expensive!!! School meals are nutritious and not expensive for the good food that they are. I was brought up on school lunches and I'm afraid that there just was not any junk food when I was a child. There was a war. We had fresh food cooked in the school kitchens and we had been brought up at home to eat the good food provided for us or go hungry. We only ever had two choices and I'm not the only one who will confirm this.
    TEA2111 likes this.
  14. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Even if you raised the threshold the money to pay for the meals would have to come from somewhere. This is a bad idea. How many well off middle class parents who send their children to state primary schools actually need this?
    TEA2111 and JosieWhitehead like this.
  15. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I should add to this: I live in what is classed as a "wealthy" town, the home of former mill owners, and the parents are middle-class professionals on the whole. They can easily afford the good meals I see offered on school websites - but, go into Tesco at lunchtime or after school and follow these children and you will see how very much they are spending on junk food. It will make you gasp - and then compare this amount to the cost of their school dinner. hmmmm! I've worked in a private preparatory school here and many of the parents both work hard in order to give what they think is a better opportunity for their children. They don't deserve to have to pay for the school meals which the other children often don't want and don't take anyway.
  16. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    A packed lunch can be made for pennies. A couple of slices of bread and cheese spread, pack of 10p crisps (from a multipack) cheap sugary drink (bought in bulk from the supermarket). I agree that school dinners are much better, and healthier too these days (no more frozen chicken nuggets thanks to Jamie Oliver!) One way to persuade all families to opt for them is to make them free for all.
  17. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    I'm also not sure this is the best way to raise the money. Lots of very high salaries being paid out by academies these days, and it's not the teachers receiving them...
  18. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    I guess we work in different settings.
  19. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    Best way of getting them to try a variety of food. If they are hungry they will have to eat. Eventually they will especially when they see all the other children eating. Better than spoiling them and giving them exactly what they want in their packed lunch every day.
    Laphroig likes this.
  20. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    But they aren't hungry at lunchtime.
    At school our lunches are excellent. A variety to choose from and all freshly made and decent.
    However the fussiest eaters are the largest children and yet they eat almost nothing.
    They just aren't hungry.
    They have filled up on junk for breakfast and will have more junk for their evening meal/snacks later. They are the ones who have never, ever been hungry in their life.
    We have no packed lunches at my school and yet those who 'don't like' decent food just don't eat it.
    Parents aren't fussed they just give them what they want later.
    TEA2111 likes this.

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