Lunch drama at Shrewsbury primary school as parents hit back over meal of bread, water and fruit
Pupils at a Shrewsbury primary school are being warned they will be fed bread, fruit and water if they forget their dinner money.
Mount Pleasant Primary School has sent a newsletter home to parents telling them about the new policy.
It says that if dinner money debts mount up, pupils will be refused a normal meal and instead be given a more basic meal.
Headteacher Steve Morris told parents: “If dinner arrears exceed £6.60 or more the school will be unable to serve a lunch, so we request that sandwiches are brought in. Otherwise we will only be able to offer bread, fruit and water to pupils.”
The new rule has upset some parents whose children have been affected.
Mother Jamie-Lee Heath said she received a call from the school to say that her daughter Madison would be given bread, fruit and water after failing to take any dinner money in to the school.
She said: “Madison had been to her dad’s the day before and had forgotten her lunch money. Her dad’s girlfriend said she would pay at the end of the day but then we got a text message saying that Madison would not have any dinner but would be given bread and water instead as well as a piece of fruit.
“I think it is terrible. It makes the children stand out because their parents have forgotten to give them any dinner money.”
Mr Morris said the school would always ensure that a child would be provided with an ‘alternative meal’ in the case of forgotten dinner money. He added that the child would eat away from other pupils so as not to draw attention to the situation.
Ms Heath took to Facebook to share her experience and dozens of other parents commented on her thread.
She said: “Judging from the comments I received on my status this is not a one-time thing.
“It is not right to punish a child for something their parents have forgotten. Considering no child at a primary school would be over the age of 11 I find it pretty appalling to hold them responsible.”
Mr Morris sent Ms Heath a letter in which he said her comments were ‘unwelcome’ and ‘unfair’.
He added: “The school will always ensure that the child is well fed but must have an alternative if arrears are owing and the child is not sent in with a packed lunch or if the arrears have not been paid.
"In this instance, the school will always ensure that the child is provided with an alternative meal.
"The June newsletter of last year did not offer full clarity of what this consisted off. I can confirm that pupils would receive bread and butter as well as a selection of chilled fruit or veg from the salad bar.
"Drink options are what all pupils can select from - milk or water. In addition, the meal is not consumed alongside other children in the hall, so attention is not drawn to the child."