A school has issued a ban on sausage rolls and other “unhealthy” foods pupils lunchboxes and some parents really aren’t happy about it.
The new policy at Shirley Manor Primary Academy in Bradford was introduced as part of a bid to promote healthy eating and has been led by government guidelines.
The ruling, sent in a letter home, states that pork pies, sausage rolls and pepperoni sticks should not be included and neither should fruit squash or flavoured water. Desserts, cakes, biscuits and crisps are also on the banned list.
The school explains that this is because they are high in salt and saturated fat and go against their desire to encourage a balanced diet.
Pupils will be encouraged to show their pack lunches to staff before and after they have eaten and parents will be called if banned foods are found in packed lunches.
But parents have slammed the new rule with some describing it as “ridiculous” and one father claiming the policy led to a sausage roll being taken from his son’s packed lunch.
Stephen Fryer, 52, who describes his son as a fussy eater claimed he was offered a ham sandwich in replace of the sausage roll.
“He doesn’t like ham and ended up taking the ham out and putting his crisps in dry bread, as apparently they don’t have butter or margarine. I was furious,” he told the Mirror.
“The ban is ridiculous. Doctors have always said if they’re eating something then it’s better than nothing. Nanny state. Schools are there to teach, they’re not doctors, we are the parents.”
But other parents have praised the school for their positive stance on healthy eating.
“I think what is offensive is parents thinking that they are right to give their kids unhealthy food and drinks, it does no favours to the kids in the long run,” one parent commented on the Bradford Telegraph and Argus.
While others didn’t feel it was the school’s job to police packed lunches.
“Unbelievable! If the school rang me to tell me my children couldn’t eat what was in their packed lunch I would have something to say to them,” one parent wrote.
“None of their business and I would accuse them of theft it they took it and tell my child to ask for it back so they could eat their lunch. What is going on?”
Head teacher Heather Lacey said the vast majority of parents supported the ban and there had been a big increase in the number of children bringing in healthy lunches.
Although schools are legally required to provide meals that comply with the government’s School Food Standards, they are able to set their own policies on packed lunches.
This isn’t the first time that school policing of lunch boxes has made headlines. Earlier this year a woman took to social media to complain that her friend had been given a note from her child’s nursery asking her to put healthier options in her three-year-old’s lunchbox.
“My friend (mother of eight healthy children, what follows relating to number seven) received this today from her three-year-old’s kindergarten,” Australian writer, Melinda Tankard Reist wrote.
“I told her to put in two slices tomorrow and tell them to get lost.”
The note the mum received was headed with a sad face and read: “Your child has a chocolate slice from the red food category today. Please choose healthier options for kindy [kindergarten].”
But the message wasn’t well received by some parents who admitted to being berated in a similar way by their own children’s school or nursery.
“This stupid PC nonsense has gone absolutely over the top,” one woman wrote. “If I decide to include a chocolate slice in their lunch, that is it. No parent or caregiver needs to be advised on giving, or what to feed their children by a pre school teacher…EVERYTHING IN MODERATION is my motto.”
And schools have come under fire for what seems to be increasingly strict uniform policies too.
The West Bridgford School reportedly made female students kneel on chairs to see how far their skirt rides up.
And earlier this month pupils at Kepier School in Houghton-le-Spring complained after being forced to line up outside to see if their trousers were the correct shade of grey.
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