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Free School Meals Funded by Private School Parents

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

  1. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    Which is why we have to take the opportunity, while children are with us during the school day, to teach them about healthy eating, and feed them healthy food. Regardless of whether their parents can/will pay for it. Education and cooking lessons are just as important so that the children will continue to make themselves healthy food when they grow up.

    We don't allow children to eat snacks during the morning so they tend to be hungry at lunch time and most of them eat their school dinner. However, many bring unhealthy packed lunches. This would change if school dinners were free for everyone, I believe.
  2. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    No, indeed, @drvs, this has happened over time with a number of contributing factors:
    • the increase and variety in ready meals, snacks, chocolate, sweets, branded baby foods - and food linked to children's TV programmes.
    • the increase of sugar, salt and additives in all kinds of innocent-looking sauces and cereals etc.
    • the disappearing of cookery from the secondary school curriculum where pupils are actually taught to plan and cook meals.
    • a more permissive approach in child-rearing where children are consulted from early toddlerhood onwards about what they want to eat or what they want the adult in the supermarket to buy. The very idea of being presented with a meal chosen and cooked by mum or dad, to be eaten because it is good for you, would be completely alien to many children.
    • a world where parents are either too busy to spend time cooking, can't cook or can't be bothered to cook, resulting in meals from MacDonald's, fish and chips and other fast food options. None of these is bad as a one-off, but not good on a regular basis.
    • the loss (for many) of a meal as a time for a family to come together to share and eat.
    I'm sure there are other causes which have happened over time.
    drvs and palmtree100 like this.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Years ago now I was doing supply in a village school with a year 5/6 class.
    We had spent the afternoon talking about healthy eating in our science lesson.
    We'd talked about portion sizes and made models of portions. We'd drawn balanced meals. We' discussed the idea that some foods should be 'treats' and not for everyday eating.
    I saw two very large twin boys from that class in the village shop after school with their mother (equally large).
    One boy was tucking into a family size bag of crisps, to himself.
    The other had a bag of six doughnuts and was just starting to eat his second doughnut when I said hello.
    What a waste of an afternoon's teaching!!!
    ViolaClef and palmtree100 like this.
  4. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    It very much depends on the school, many secondary schools contract out so meals are made from highly processed produce... low sugar and salt maybe but dried and packaged origins nevertheless... sometimes to keep costs down the contractors hire staff with questionable food prep qualifications, who also in my experiences don't speak or read English very well, with resulting "interesting" food combinations and ingredients. The catering company profits must come from somewhere!

  5. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    Ok. In my primary they are pretty much cooked on site. Often fresh bread and always a salad bar available for children to go with their meal.
    needabreak likes this.
  6. ElPintor

    ElPintor New commenter

    It may be the case that in your school, most of the children eat their school dinners and this includes those receiving FSM. However, having been in schools where the majority receive FSM, I have witnessed most of the food going in the bin. This is why of course figures are needed. In my experience, as well as many others, free school meals are simply not consumed. Kids who are reared on fast food, as well as kids who eat only food from their own culture or country, are often the ones who are receiving the FSM and also the ones who reject it the most as 'weird', 'nasty' etc. I would place quite good money on a nationwide survey finding that the majority of FSM food goes to waste.
  7. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    Again, not my experience.Kids are used to the food they get at school as they've been getting it every day since Reception. We serve a variety of dishes including food from other cultures like curry, as well as stuff that almost all kids like such as home-baked pizza, pasta etc.

    Menu changes every day, rotated over 2 weeks. Always 2 or 3 different options every day.
    JosieWhitehead likes this.
  8. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    The problem is that even if you set off along life's way to guide them towards better eating, it doesn't work. My friend has a child who, until the age of 3, didn't eat sugar. Then she started nursery school and she is being stuffed with sugar at every turn. Almost every couple of weeks children have birthdays and out come the birthday cakes, the sugary treats and that is only at nursery school. After that comes the party at their home and it is even worse with children going home with packets of sweets etc to eat long after the party. Try saying "no". In my childhood all children were in the same boat because sugar was rationed. Rationing is the answer perhaps otherwise our hospitals will be filled with people with diseases brought on by overweight.
    primenumbers likes this.
  9. ElPintor

    ElPintor New commenter

    Exactly why a nationwide study is needed. Some of us see a huge amount of FSM food wasted; others see it being put to good use. I'd still put money on the outcome being that not enough is consumed to justify the cost.
  10. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Years ago, parents would have been insulted if they thought that they couldn't afford to pay for their children's meals and that other people, struggling to bring up their children and pay for their education, had to pay for it. What on earth are they spending their child benefit on, if it isn't first and foremost, to buy food to feed their own children?
  11. blowswind

    blowswind Occasional commenter

    School bus ticket: £300+
    School uniform: £150+
    School shoes: £30
    Scientific calculator: £8
    School trips: £100
    Residential: Sky's the limit
    Fundraising days: £10
    Stationery and art materials: £30

    Did parents pay these years ago too?
  12. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Funnily enough bar stationary and materials yes, although students could be asked to bring ingredients in for Home Ec. Inflation over the years mean the figures appear more but are relatively similar given wage changes.

    Edit - who do you think paid for children's up bringng in the past? The State? Even in former Eastern bloc countries that would be questionable... by it's citizens anyway.
  13. blowswind

    blowswind Occasional commenter

    Your history differs to mine...

    School bus: free
    School uniform: plain trousers, shirt, jumper, tie (unless you attended a posh school with a blazer)
    Scientific calculator: provided by school
    School trips: at best a trip to the church in town
    Residential: at most an extravagant trip to France/Germany
    Fundraising days: rarely

    Parents should always be expected to raise their children. This doesn't excuse the considerable costs of a modern "free" education.

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