School forced to do U-turn on '˜bread and butter' school lunch policy

A school has apologised for telling children they'd be given just bread and butter if they forgot their dinner money.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 22nd January 2016, 4:50 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd January 2016, 4:54 pm

Staff at Alban Church of England Academy in Great Barford, got fed up after kids turned up without a packed lunch or any change more than 100 times in the past month.

In an effort to encourage youngsters to bring their lunch money, those without were told they would be offered the meagre fare.

But they reversed the decision after a barrage of complaints from parents.

In a letter sent home, headteacher Sue Lourensz said: “I apologise if this has caused any offence, this was not our intention.

“Pupils are reminded to bring the money in the next day but frequently forget and parents then have to be sent texts and even letters if they fail to pay.

“As I am sure you can appreciate, this takes a considerable amount of time to administer and incurs extra costs to the school, which can be ill-afforded with the increasing

tightening of school budgets.”

She said the meals cost £2.10 a day and that its suppliers, Caterlink, had a strict “no debt” policy.

Without money up front, the school is forced to fund the cost of each meal and then recoup the money from parents.

The middle school, which educates pupil from nine to 13 years old, had decided that from next month, if a child arrived without dinner money or a packed lunch, office staff would first try to call parents.

However, if no provision were made “the child will be provided with a drink and bread and butter only.”

They have now made a dramatic U-turn on the decision to avoid further conflict.

In a second letter, Mrs Lourensz said: “Following a number of parental concerns regarding the recent school meals letter we have decided to re-think our policy and will not be introducing the new system outlined in that letter.

“The letter itself was intended to explain the situation and trial a policy that has been successfully adopted by other schools. Please accept our sincere apologies.”