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Is your school going to charge parents whose children bring packed lunches?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by FrankWolley, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    sabrinakat likes this.
  2. Camokidmommy

    Camokidmommy Established commenter

    Send the rubbish home and parents can also see what child has eaten, or not. Lunch boxes can be wiped down easily.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  3. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Let me guess :rolleyes:.

    This will be an academy that has realised its not making much money from its" catering service" and thinks that is one way to get more money out of its customers (sorry I mean students) either directly through increased sales or charging people for somewhere to sit.
  4. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    It could happen in many places with the financial pressures on schools and councils
  5. ricjamclick

    ricjamclick New commenter

    All school dinners should be funded, free for staff and children should not be allowed to bring a packed lunches. Until that day comes these things will happen.
  6. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    What sort of nanny state do you want to live in? There are many reasons why parents would prefer to send their child with a packed lunch, and why children might prefer to eat a packed lunch. Why should they not be allowed to choose?
    RheaDavies and wanet like this.
  7. poltergeist

    poltergeist New commenter

    Several of our SEN children, particularly ASD pupils, rely on packed lunches, as what's offered by the canteen doesn't fit with their sensory difficulties or 'routine' preferences. So I'd be concerned that it could be seen as discriminatory, unless the canteen were going to make special arrangements to cater to them.
  8. ricjamclick

    ricjamclick New commenter

    I believe that schools should be integrating a provided lunch into the school day and that this should be both compulsory and all students dietary requirements catered for, yes.

    I don't think packed lunches are appropriate for several reasons, nor would they be necessary unless the learner was off site at lunch time for some special reason, an unusual circumstance.
  9. redlamp2

    redlamp2 Occasional commenter

    Calling a packed lunch inappropriate = today's ridiculous comment of the day. Congratulations you get yourself a banana sticker.

    If there's a mess deal with the kids making the mess. No different from making them pick up litter from the playground.

    If this sort of idiot scheme had been introduced into my kid's school I'd have refused to pay it and happily seen what happened in court. I expect a case of profiteering might be possible.
  10. ricjamclick

    ricjamclick New commenter

    Thanks for brightening up my day. Really very amusing.
  11. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    I think the cost would be prohibitive if all needs were catered for.
    But in principle I agree with you Ric
  12. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    If parents refused to pay such a charge I doubt the school could collect it, tbh.
  13. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    Schools have difficulty collecting the actual school dinner money debts in my experience.
  14. Lascarina

    Lascarina Star commenter

    What reasons?
    harsh-but-fair and wanet like this.
  15. ricjamclick

    ricjamclick New commenter

    Not an exhaustive list, but, to name a few (roughly in order of priority):

    • Schools should be communities in my view. Eating together is a community activity.
    • For some children it's likely to be the only hot meal they get all day.
    • School dinners can encourage healthy eating. Packed lunches can encourage unhealthy eating.
    • The option of packed lunch puts time pressure on parents
    • The option of packed lunch puts unhealthy option pressure on parents
    • The option of packed lunch puts financial pressure on parents
    • Children sometimes hate their packed lunch and discard it in the toilets
    • Children sometimes love their packed lunch and eat it in the classroom (especially common if they use this option to replace / supplement breakfast).
    • Children doing the above inevitably make a mess.
  16. Lascarina

    Lascarina Star commenter

    Surely there is no reason why children with packed lunches can't eat them in the company of other children.

    Why is a hot meal preferable to a cold meal? I often have days when I don't have a hot meal. And in my experience of school dinners they are often tepid by the time they are eaten in any case.

    Packed lunches can also encourage healthy eating. Many of the school dinners I served up I wouldn't have fed to an animal.

    It takes less than 5 minutes to make a packed lunch.

    A nutritious packed lunch can be made very cheaply.

    Children sometimes hate their school dinner and drop bits of it on the floor or behind the radiator.

    If children are so hungry that they need to eat their packed lunch during the morning then it could be because the dinner break starts too late.

    I have never found that packed lunch makes nearly as much mess as school dinners. Try scraping up spilt custard or runny rice pudding off the floor.
    harsh-but-fair, InkyP and RheaDavies like this.
  17. redlamp2

    redlamp2 Occasional commenter

    • Packed lunches enables me to ensure my child is eating healthily (I know what they're eating for the rest of the day, the school canteen does not)
    • As my children get older they can make their own packed lunches (this teaches them responsibility)
    • They are in the habit of taking a packed lunch - a habit that will serve them well for the rest of their lives rather than depending on food that may be overpriced and full of unknown ingredients
    • They can eat their packed lunch anywhere (permitted). Picnic on a nice sunny day..
    InkyP, Lascarina and FrankWolley like this.
  18. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    I agree about the free school meals for all, including staff.
    There would be no need to ban packed lunches, the take-up would be very small if school dinners were free for all. Some children have allergies, religious requirements etc., and parents feel safer providing their own lunch, this should remain an option.
    I do however think we give too much sugar in our school dinners. A friend from Scandinavia was shocked to see that we give cake and custard for dessert. Many children already eat sugary snacks when they get home at 4pm, as well as desserts after dinner at night. No need to include them as part of lunch as well. School dinners should be proper nutritious food, and larger portions of it. I have seen children being given one sausage and 4 chips, with a large helping of cake and custard. No need for dessert except maybe some fruit or yoghurt.
    ricjamclick likes this.
  19. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Hmm...If you make school dinners too healthy (salads, fruit, yoghurt) you'll defeat the whole object of having free meals for all - parents will give their children snacks to take as well, older children will call in at local shops on the way to school (mine did, I know) and they'll be a lot of food thrown away at school lunches...
  20. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    Children in KS1 are getting free meals at the moment although some still opt for packed lunches. My younger grandsons have the free school meals but the older two have packed lunches which they make themselves. My daughter makes sandwiches and freezes them so they put one in the lunch bag (along with fruit and a snack) and it's defrosted by the time they eat it. They all have a hot meal in the evening anyway.

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