The TES is reporting union claims that parents are paying up to £1.80 a day for children to eat packed lunches in school.
The fee, which is used to cover the cost of cleaning and supervision in lunch areas, has been described as “shocking” by the NASUWT teaching union, which discovered the practice…
Patrick Roach, the NASUWT’s deputy general secretary, told TES he thought the charges – said to be made in both state primary and secondary schools – were “disgraceful”.
“Now just sitting in a dining hall and unwrapping your sandwiches is considered to be an optional extra, it’s disgraceful, it’s shocking,” he said. “Parents should be appalled in just the same way that we’re appalled…”
A spokesman for the Department of Education said it was “absolutely unacceptable” for schools to charge children to bring in packed lunches.
He added: “If schools are looking to exploit loopholes to get money out of parents we will investigate and make sure those loopholes are closed.”
We covered this as a potential policy move in a local authority in Wales recently (Council proposes ‘sandwich tax’ for children taking packed lunches) but according to the TES here the practice is already being implemented at schools in England too.
The approach is being seen as a move by schools concerned to raise additional funds in the face of cuts, but what do you think? Is it a step too far or is there any justification for it?
Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
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