School apologises over 'bread and butter' policy for children who forget lunch money

Parents complained that the policy was unnecessarily harsh towards the children

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The Independent Online

A school has apologised after telling parents that if their children forgot their lunch money, they would be given bread and butter.

Alban Church of England Academy in Bedfordshire wrote to parents earlier this month to warn that pupils would be given the sparse lunch if they and their parents failed to ensure they brought lunch money. 

The letter stated that despite regular reminders, many children were still failing to bring the £2.10 price of a school meal. 

It said that the catering company used by the school has a strict policy of not allowing children to owe them the money and that the cost was billed to the school instead.

The letter said that this had happened on more than a hundred occasions in the previous month.

It said: “As a result, and with effect from Monday February 1, this current system will cease.

“From then, if a pupil comes to school without either a packed lunch or dinner money, the office staff will phone home and ask for packed lunch or the money for a lunch to be dropped into school.

“If the parent/carer cannot make it into school then the child will be provided with a drink and bread and butter only.”

Parents were reportedly concerned by the seemingly harsh approach and complained to the school.

Head teacher Sue Lourensz said that the policy has now been changed. She 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.

“I apologise if this has caused any offence, this was not our intention. The letter itself was intended to explain the situation and trial a policy that has been successfully adopted by other schools.”

With additional reporting by Press Association