Packed lunch inspections at Liverpool's Childwall Valley primary
A CITY primary school is inspecting pupils’ lunchboxes to ensure they are up to scratch. Those children not adhering to the new healthy food guidelines which have come into force at Childwall Valley CE primary are falling foul of daily lunchtime “police”.
Staff finding prohibited sugar and fat-laden products are confiscating the food and drink from guilty pupils’ lunchboxes.
The school has written to parents saying its healthy push is part of “our responsibility to teach children how to eat healthily”.
But the move has sparked anger from parents – with some so irate they are now feeding their children at home instead.
They say the school should not be removing items they have paid for and are furious the food is being plucked from the lunchboxes without their prior consent.
Parents’ anger intensified after Monday’s crackdown – which saw items ranging from flavoured water, fruit juice, foil sealed chicken and biscuits taken – was done as pupils who eat school dinners were allowed to tuck into chocolate brownies and ice-cream.
Parents are also unhappy that only after two days of their pupils having food and drink confiscated did the school send out a clarification letter and revised list of items..
The letter apologised for issuing a leaflet full of packed lunch ideas, some including banned items like crisps and cookies, when the policy guidelines were sent to parents on March 19.
The only prohibited foods listed in the letter were “snacks such as crisps and confectionery such as chocolate bars, chocolate biscuits and sweets” and fruit juice was listed as a permitted item.
But in the clarification letter sent out on Tuesday the list of banned items had been extended to include processed meat products and fruit juices due to their high sugar content.
The school’s headteacher, Kevin Basnett, last night stressed the changes were done after a questionnaire and extensive consultation of parents – 86% of whom supported the move.
He said the policy had been approved by Liverpool council and Liverpool PCT.
He stressed pupils were not having their bags searched and “everything taken is given back at the end of the day.”
Those breaking the rules were offered healthy alternatives.
But many parents are furious.
Helen Phillips, 34, yesterday fed her son Dylan, 11, at home in protest claiming he was “dehydrated” after having orange drink Capri Sun taken off him, even though fruit juice was permitted on the original policy document.
She said: “I am all for healthy eating, but the way it has been enforced is disgusting.”
Guidelines from the government-backed School Food Trust recommends that, prior to confiscating items, schools “inform parents of this beforehand”. THE DAILY POST