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Lunch payments overdue: children put in lunch isolation

Discussion in 'Education news' started by monicabilongame, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    £75 in advance is beyond the reach of many working parents. The threshold for FSM is still quite low. It's the low earners that struggle with policies like these. In my experience (Primary) most parents do try hard to pay at least something towards school trips. Some even overpay. There is a 'hard core' of parents who routinely don't pay but I think this has always been the case. You can't blame the children for their parent's actions or hold them to ransom to make the parents 'change their ways'. It's never going to happen.
    cassandramark2 likes this.
  2. Mr_Ed

    Mr_Ed Established commenter

    Well, I just can't believe this one!

    So Katherine Birbalsingh is getting criticism for basically using common sense, unbelievable!

    In fact, she has taken a very mild line, imho.

    It is very simple - for children with parents/carers who are poor, free school meals exist. If they don't pay - but can and just won't well after say - half a term, I would expel the child and suggest 'home schooling' be the way forward.

    I bet they would pay up then!

    Why are the authorities so weak in this country? grrrrr.
  3. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    It's £75 up front. Do you honestly think that all parents who can't afford this qualify for FSM? Lots of low paid workers won't qualify. Factor in London rent etc. Then there is the fact that she is punishing the children for the actions of the parents. Then there is the fact that packed lunches are not allowed. It is not 'common sense' at all.
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Presumably all those who chose to send their children to this school knew about this charge in advance? So they should have budgeted for the cost.

    They can always cut down on booze and fags, or cancel their Sky contract... :D
    Mr_Ed likes this.
  5. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    You're very bad Frank.;)
    FrankWolley likes this.
  6. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Birbalsingh said criticism of the school’s policies such as the lunch isolation sprang from “middle-class liberal guilt”.

    “We as headteachers ought to tell parents when they are not doing their jobs as parents – when they are letting their children down. We have a duty to the children we teach to ensure that they can leave school literate and numerate.

    “Some families don’t want this for their own children, and the liberals who complain about schools holding these families to account are the problem.

    “It’s white, middle-class liberal guilt. They are not actually interested in educating these children. They just want to make themselves feel better about their own privilege.”


    So now you know.
  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    The question is whether this child should have been put in isolation and treated differently because of the parents' actions. Whether the actions are right or wrong is not the point. The point is that the school humiliated the child and that is wrong. Other kids would know about it and then could tease them about being poor or other comments. I agree with post 4: the behaviour of the school is despicable.

    I can remember when I was around 9 which is many, many years ago being in another country in a foster home and therefore part of social services. As exchange for my lunch, the school asked me to clean the tables of the other students. The experience was humiliating to say the least.
    vannie likes this.
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    So how would you respond to a parent who refused to pay for their child's lunch?

    Maybe better just not to give the child a lunch...?o_O
  9. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    And an important part of being literate and numerate is understanding that a) good parents never have financial difficulties and b) some children deserve to be punished through isolation and humiliation for things they have no control over, such as the way the finances of their parents.

    Because everyone knows that being poor is a choice and always caused by being lazy, irresponsible and feckless. Liberals who don't understand and appreciate this are simply enabling poor people to continue to be poor by demonstrating empathy, instead of humiliating and belittling them until they give up this awful poverty habit and become normal and wealthy like proper people.

    How dare they be concerned about the emotional welfare of anyone who is being punished for something they didn't do and couldn't change? What stupid liberal idea actually thinks that you can better educate people by allowing them equal opportunities regardless of the socioeconomic background? We should be proud of our privilege and not be afraid of showing the children of those lazy scroungers that they don't belong with normal children who have financially stable parents. How else will they learn their place in life?
    monicabilongame and vannie like this.
  10. Benbamboo

    Benbamboo Occasional commenter

    The line about being a vegetarian school is offensive!

    If you are going to have a policy of forcing parents to pay for school dinners instead of providing a packed lunch then you need a system in place to hold parents to account. Punishing children for their parents' decisions is inappropriate and lazy for a school with a "strong moral core".
  11. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    You pay your money, you take your choice for me. The school, whether people agree or not, have been upfront with what they expect. If you are not happy with paying, don't send them to the school. Seems obvious to me. Ditto with the idea of a secular school and of vegetarian food.
  12. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    Lets imagine instead of a school, we're talking about a boarding kennels. Someone's left their dog there for the week and for whatever reason the payment hasn't gone through on time. Do you decide that it's appropriate to give the dog minimal food and keep it locked in a cage away from other dogs and deny it daily walks until the bill is paid? Or do you treat the dog exactly as you would have under normal circumstances and chase up the outstanding money with the owner, possibly resorting to small claims court and/or the RSPCA to report negligent behaviour?
    If you don't choose the second, then there's something seriously wrong with you.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  13. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Whilst I get your point you are trying to make, the two really aren't comparable.
  14. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Child goes home at the end of th day. One day. Dogs in kennels usually stay for several days, or weeks.

    Mind you, if an owner can't afford to feed their dog, wouldn't the RSPCA take the dog away from them to avoid cruelty? So presumably you'd support contacting social services and saying that 'Mrs X is refusing to feed her child'? It's an idea, I suppose... o_O
    DYNAMO67 likes this.
  15. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Surely, it is wrong to put a child into isolation for something they have no control over. The whole scenario is weird that the school does not allow packed lunches. Sounds very controlling and as someone mentioned packed lunches could be a solution since it is possible to pack a healthy lunchnfor under £2.50.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  16. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    maybe. Their philosophy seems to be one of 'we sit together, we eat the same thing regardless of background/religion' I do get it. Whether I like it or not, I am not sure. Either way they are upfront about it.
    pepper5 likes this.
  17. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Yeah, but ... if you let them have packed lunches someone might try to sneak some meat into a sandwich. That way madness lies ...
    monicabilongame, vannie and pepper5 like this.
  18. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    Why not? Neither the dog nor the child are the ones responsible for the payment so why are they the ones to be punished?

    If they genuinely believe that "We as headteachers ought to tell parents when they are not doing their jobs as parents – when they are letting their children down." surely social services would be the natural port of call, rather than simply punishing the child until the parent behaves in a manner they deem more appropriate. I wouldn't support contacting SS and accusing a parent negligence over a payment that was only 1 week late because its ridiculous, but that would at least demonstrate more concern for the welfare of this child than simply putting them in isolation until the bill is paid does.

    Personally, I believe the school should have made more of an effort to communicate with the parent about why the payment was a week late. If they really have the welfare of the child at heart, then surely checking that there wasn't some kind of problem or issue at home that had led to a payment being missed would be the first response. They didn't bother with that. It was simply a case of 'give us our money or we will isolate and humiliate and punish your child'. I have a real problem with that.
  19. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Because a Kennel you are talking about 24 hour care and schools aren't. Not walking a dog/ leaving it in solitary confinement all day is cruel. Taking a kids lunchtime isn't comparable to this if not the correct thing to do. Also i suppose the kennel has the right to refuse to take the animal in the future and to limit its losses this way

    From personal experience the cattery that i use always ask for payment in advance, particularly for new customers. Sorry to sound pedantic.
    FrankWolley likes this.
  20. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    OK. Doggy daycare where the dog is only there for the day. Say the payment had been given but the cheque bounced or whatever.
    It doesn't make a difference to the fact that it's inherently wrong to punish someone who hasn't done anything wrong and has no control over the situation for the actions of someone else.
    minnie me likes this.

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