Angry parents have been told their children will go hungry if they fail to pay school dinner money on time.*sigh*
No, they won’t. They’ll miss lunch, that’s all. It won’t kill them.
Children at West Leigh Junior School, in Leigh, were sent home with a letter telling parents if they didn’t pay up on time their child would not be fed.You'd think no-one could possibly argue about this, wouldn't you? But you'd be wrong:
The letter is a reaction to a number of parents persistently failing to pay dinner money on time, or at all, causing an administrative headache for office staff.
But John Banks who has two daughters at the school, Molly, eight, and Emily, 11, was shocked by the tough stance.Really? Why?
Mr Banks, 46, said: “I can’t believe they would let a child go without their lunch.They aren't. You are, by persistently refusing to pay, or forgetting to pay. They are your daughters, and feeding them - or arranging for them to have the wherewithal to be fed - is your responsibility, not the schools.
“If you have two parents at work in London there is no way on earth they could jump on a train and get back in time to take something into school.I don't forget things. Well, I do, but it's things like where I put my umberella, or what time a film starts at the local cinema.
“We all forget things, and to be told ‘you are not eating today little girl’, seems a bit much to me.”
I certainly don't forget to pay for things. And consquently expect other people to pick up my slack...
Mr Banks, of Edinburgh Avenue, Leigh, said he realised the extra admin caused difficulties for the school, but said if alternative payment methods, such as account transfers, could be used it would be simpler for everyone.”What..? Are we supposed to believe that he can't give his daughters cash for their school dinners, but he'll be right on to the bank aranging a transfer of funds, if only it was available?
Pull the other one!
But headteacher Cheryl Woolf defended the decision. She said: “We have a lot of parents who seem to think they can send their child in with no money and expect them to be fed, and we are putting our foot down.Oh, I don't know. Some people would, if they thought they could get away with it...
“You wouldn’t go into a restaurant and demand a lunch if you had no money.”
Mrs Woolf added the school accepted meal payments on a very flexible basis, from weekly to annual payments, and is looking at introducing other methods of payment.Perhaps those errant parents should be co-opted into doing the school canteen washing up. I believe that to be the traditional punishment in these sorts of cases...