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Pupils' lunchtimes

Discussion in 'Primary' started by sooooexcited, Aug 27, 2020.

  1. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    Just wondered whether any one knows for a fact...Is there an actual minimum length of lunchtime that primary school pupils must have?

  2. asnac

    asnac Lead commenter

    There's no minimum. I'm not sure if there's a legal entitlement to a lunch break at all. Of course for teachers it's a different matter: they should get one break of "reasonable length" each day (interpreted as at least 20 minutes).
  3. Sally006

    Sally006 Lead commenter

    Breaks and Lunchtimes with your bubble all day, everyday until October HT will take its toll. Not good. I’m hoping, though have yet to have it confirmed we will get relief by Middays but the problem is where to go as staff room is out. Maybe I’ll sit in my car.
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    A year or so ago, the new head redid the timetable and cut lunch from 1 hour to 55 mins. There was absolute outcry from staff who have been at the school donkey's years. Naturally, in the staff meeting where this was told to us, the more vocal turn to me and demand "Caterpillar! What does the union say about this?" It was amusing (in a not especially nice, supportive colleague way) to watch their faces when I had to say, they just needed to have 20 mins for every six hours they work...and if we were under STPCD in a state school they just needed a 'break of reasonable length between the hours of 12 and 2' and 55 mins would definitely fit the description of reasonable.

    Bless, sometimes they really don't know how lucky they are.
    Pomza likes this.
  5. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    The staff have their lunchtime sorted so I just want to check that there is no minimum for pupils to eat their lunch. Thanks for your answers.
  6. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    I'm not clear yet what will happen at lunchtimes. We've been told we will all have a half hour break and we have at least two members of staff in every class. I don't know if Meals Supervisors are coming back yet. It would clearly be possible for the classroom staff - teacher and TA(s) - to split the lunchtime cover between them and both have a break. Will find out more on inset day.
  7. blushingberry

    blushingberry New commenter

    Whilst teachers are only entitled to that 20 mins, just remember that the other time removed needs to be added to your directed time.

    Do you still have enough left for meetings etc when this is factored in? What will need to be removed to allow this?
  8. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    I'm not sure what you're concerned about.

    My question is about pupils' lunch entitlement but no one seems to be able to answer.
  9. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    No, there is no minimum amount of time that must be given over purely to the eatIng of food. Of course, if a school was really not allowing pupils a reasonable period of time to eat food, it would be a serious concern that would probably result, in the first instance, in a deluge of parent complaints that would need to be acted on.

    How long do you think children require to eat their food?
  10. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    Thanks for your helpful reply.
    We've temporarily shortened lunchtime due to staggered starts etc so the children have 25 mins to eat and then 15 mins for play.
    Pomza likes this.
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    40 mins is a reasonably normal lunchtime these days.
    Is it enough? Nope, but it's not unusual.
  12. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Some may disagree, but I don’t think 25mins to eat lunch is unreasonable.
    sooooexcited likes this.
  13. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    We have 25 mins to eat and 25 mins to play from year 1 - 6.
    EYFS have 35 mins to eat and 25 mins to play.

    The 'eat' time includes lining up to get main course, eating it, clearing away, collecting pudding, eating it, clearing away and cleaning tables.
    sooooexcited likes this.
  14. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Lead commenter

    I think 25 minutes is fine. Our year 7s are getting 4 breaks of 15 minutes throughout the day. Out year 9-11s are getting one break. Our teachers, one 15 minute break, but we are also getting the October half term doubled to two weeks.
    sooooexcited likes this.
  15. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    However, the difference between a 13 year old and a 5 year old is huge.
    What works in secondary won't necessarily be fine in primary.
  16. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Our children are all still having an hour, from Reception to Year 6. As we have a good number of staff in UKS2 classes, we are covering the lunch times ourselves, making sure that every member of staff has a half hour break. Meals Supervisors are being used lower down the school, including in the nursery, where the need for support with lunches and playtime is higher. This will be reviewed after two weeks.
    Every school will be different - it depends on staff numbers, needs of children and playground space available.
  17. asnac

    asnac Lead commenter

    Huh? My reply (#2) answered your question.

    Now I feel unvalued.

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