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Guest petercrotch

Girl given bread and jam for £4 school lunch debt ! School being cruel ? or are they in the right ?

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Guest petercrotch

A SIX-YEAR-OLD girl was given bread and jam instead of a hot school dinner - because her mum was £4 in arrears.

Hazel Lebby, 37, says she was shocked to discover her daughter Hannah had been denied a school lunch after she fell behind in her dinner payments to St Thomas's School in Mitcham, south London.

Now she has threatened to take her child out of school.

The school said it needed to take drastic action after parents racked up £1,730 in unpaid dinner meals last year.

Hazel said: "I was supposed to pay it on Monday but my car broke down so I totally forgot about having to sort it out.

"Then the next morning I woke up with a leak. My carpet was soaking wet. I managed to get Hannah to school on time but had to come back home and sort out the leak.

"I would never in a million years think they would refuse a child dinner because I'm a couple of days late.

"No-one made an attempt to phone me and tell me my daughter had been denied dinner. The only reason I found out was because my daughter told me."

Hazel works for the catering company that provides the school's dinners at another school.

She received a text from the school to say that because she was in arrears by £4 there "may not" be a school lunch for her child today.

Hannah was given a substitute of two slices of bread and jam for two days.

Hazel has since made an official complaint to Merton Council and said she does not want her daughter to return to the school.

Hazel said: "I personally feel if they can make a child feel like that then I really don't want her to go there at all. You don't take it out on a child.

"All they had to do was pick up the phone to say we have noticed you are in arrears and your child will not be getting a dinner. I would have picked her up or brought down some lunch."

But the school has defended the decision and the need to take drastic action after parents racked up such huge unpaid bills last year.

Headteacher David Feasey said: "We are liable for those arrears so if parents don't pay we have to foot the bill which takes money away from resources we could be spending on the children.

"Sometimes people experience difficulties and we can work around that."

However he said he would "look into" the wording of the text message to make it clear to parents whether their child would be refused a school lunch.

He added: "It's a parent's responsibility to make sure their child is fed, not the schools. It's a service we provide but it has to be paid for."


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how can she complain? lol thats like going into a restaurant with limited money and expecting the most expensive thing on the menu...u get what u paid for init.

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Bread and jam>>>>>>>my school dinners tbh

The kid got fed dunno what the fuss is about

You owe lunch once that's the motto

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