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Lunch payments overdue: children put in lunch isolation

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

  1. redlamp2

    redlamp2 Occasional commenter

    They grab your children, put them in a small room, feed them value range sandwiches and threaten to keep them until you pay up.

    I use it as a cheap creche.
  2. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I know I am one of the older contributors to these discussions, but I can't help recalling the days when I grew up during and shortly after the second world war. Our parents were seriously poor. We mainly ate things which our parents grew, if they had a garden or allotment. Money was put into compartments of a strong box (and I still have Dad's box). The rent, electricity, rates, house-keeping etc etc Nobody got into debt as there was a social stigma to this I think. You lived strictly within your means and "made ends meet". Go on, laugh - but I remember that school dinners were one shilling (5p) a day - and that wasn't cheap. Those who couldn't go home took their money to school on Monday morning and we had a really good dinner and a pudding. (No chips). Our parents would go without things themselves rather than we should not have our dinner money. We were made to sit quietly at the dinner table and we always heard the words: "joints on the table are for eating". So you kept your elbows off the table. I see families with things in their shopping trollies that we could never have and yet they are struggling to pay for something important, ie a school dinner. Perhaps I don't understand things as they are today. I'm from another age I guess.
  3. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    It genuinely makes me worried that people think this attitude towards issues of child welfare is acceptable. If this parent really was one of the variety that simply doesn't care to pay, or prefers to spend their money on fags or booze or sky TV, what makes anyone think that isolating their child at lunchtime and feeding them basic rations would make the parents 'change their ways'. All you're doing is creating a situation where this child is made bluntly aware that there are no support networks out there for them, either at home or at school, and that the adults in their life view their welfare as something that can be traded and exchanged for their own benefit.
  4. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Surely those entitled to free school means would still get them in any type of school?
    Except maybe indy, but then no parent is forced to send their child to one.
  5. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    The idea of giving healthy snacks sounds good-some parents don't like the Jamie Oliver thing of not being able to send in unhealthy snacks, but then they probably wouldn't pick this school!
  6. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    It is true that you often saw parents in our area who complained they couldn't afford school trips/uniform etc but they seemed to be permanently smoking/gel nails/ hair dos etc.
    And lots of my friends who have been on benefits complain they don't get enough, but seem to manage to have Sky/the latest gadget/shoes etc.
    At one point I had to claim unemployment, and I've so many friends/family members who are/have that I know you cannot stereotype, but you have a point about a significant number of people.
  7. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    It would for some parents. I agree with you about the ones that don't care at all-but surely something else should be done about that kind of parent-the kind who says, 'I don't care, and I'll teach you not to bother paying, my child, as if you don't pay nothing will ever happen and you can go through life expecting to do nothing but get the same as workers'.
  8. Mr_Ed

    Mr_Ed Established commenter

    Even if it's a free school?
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Perhaps the school should look into the Real Junk Food Project initiative to help people instead of making them feel like criminals. If interested in the RJFP, Google Real Junk Food Project Leeds and there will come up a story about one primary being involved. I had never heard of it until today.

    Well said Oakrider2
  10. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    The solution for the parents who won't pay for their children's lunch is for them to sell their smartphone and replace it with a much cheaper mobile phone, or cancel their Sky package.

    Here we go again. There will always be a minority who game the system then claim their Yuman Rights are being abused. Those who have to deal with these experts in the benefits system go round and round, wasting their time, wringing their hands, trying to find a solution. I totally support the Head's action. Short, sharp, clear and wastes the minimum amount of the school time's as possible.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
    JosieWhitehead and wanet like this.
  11. Kamit

    Kamit New commenter

    Glad to see the usual frothing right wing "just give up the fags" comment.

    1. The parent had just lost their job and was in the process of applying for free school meals
    2. The late payment threat was issued 1 day later with no previous attempt to remind the parent of their debt
    3. The schools policy is to charge up front per half term. The child had just joined the school and £75 is a lot to find at short notice if you've just lost your job

    This school has an active policy of "managing out" difficult families. The deputy head who sent the poorly written letter has a blog where he regularly calls parents rude names. The school is also very active on social media writing very rude things about other schools and teaching methods. Their petulant response (since deleted) released to friendly bloggers (such as Tom Bennett and Toby Young) in which they leaked details of the child's academic record and behaviour shows you all you need to know.

    How much easier would it be in your school if whenever you had a child who wasn't doing what they were supposed to be simply to get rid of them?

    This school will get better results than schools around it however it will be achieved by simply removing problem families and dumping their children back to local authority schools. However the usual Govian mouthpieces will say it is because of their "private school ethos"
    JosieWhitehead, Laphroig and vannie like this.
  12. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I'd be more supportive of the school's policy if they appeared to have
    a) discussed this with the parent
    b) given some form of time or structure to pay (as other businesses e.g. banks/credit card companies do)
    c) there had been previous, unwarranted non-payment or non compliance (or other evidence of a lack of intent to pay)
    d) didn't expect claimants to pay before FSM is awarded

    As it is the child (and parent?) is being punished because application for FSM takes longer than a week.
    JosieWhitehead, Laphroig and vannie like this.
  13. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I suspect there is a lot of stuff like this that goes on in "free" schools that don't come to light.
  14. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    The solution isn't to punish their children.

    Well, that's poverty solved then isn't it. Why didn't anyone suggest this earlier. Just make better life choices and stop being poor. Simples.

    And the fact that it punishes someone for something they didn't do and have no control over doesn't bother you at all?
    I presume you'd also support an electricity company's short, sharp, clear action of limiting electricity to a couple of hours a day for a whole street because one household was a day late with their payment?
    vannie likes this.
  15. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Apparently the mother had been sending her son in to eat lunches not paid for over 2 weeks:

    Ms Kelly, a single mother, received the letter only two weeks after Reon had started at the school. She said she had not yet registered for free school meals, but planned to try to claim the money back.

    Miss Birbalsingh admitted that she and Miss Kelly 'did not see eye to eye', and insisted Miss Kelly had not paid for her son's lunches. Miss Birbalsingh added: 'The letter from Barry Smith…was sent in an attempt to encourage mum to change her ways and support her son by paying for his food.


    Probably thought she could get something for nothing.

    The term 'feckless' comes to mind...
    JosieWhitehead, Mr_Ed and redlamp2 like this.
  16. redlamp2

    redlamp2 Occasional commenter

    I suspect one or two people have been busily polishing their old cane and blowing the dust off the dunce's hat.

    I wonder how much attitudes would shift if in reality it were their children being punished for their parent's actions? Of course these are not the sort of people to watch Sky TV or to have ever smoked. Oh no no no. Lock the little blighters away - now go and think about how terrible your mother is while we collect some leftovers for you. And tuck in that second hand shirt. Incidentally if you don't find one that fits perfectly, it's double detention for you.
    vannie and minnie me like this.
  17. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    So she received the letter 2 weeks after the child started at the school. Bearing in mind the week before would have been half term, it means he was there 1 week, then half term, then 1 day after half term, when the £75 for the next term was due, she was late and the letter issued.

    Maybe the parent is feckless and thought they could get something for nothing.
    Doesn't make punishing the child for that in any way ok.
    vannie and minnie me like this.
  18. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Not very helpful to allow her to build up a larger debt either. Bit like giving a drug addict more drugs...
  19. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    Who was responsible for the debt?
    Who was being threatened with a sanction because of the debt?

    These two answers should be the same person. In this case they were not and that is not right.
  20. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    She knew the rules. She accepted the conditions before sending her child there. She tried to get something for nothing. She must have embarrassed her son terribly by going to the press.

    Quite frankly an unfit mother. Hope social services are taking a look at her, tbh.

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