Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

From the Archive - 09.05.1980: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

From the Archive - 09.05.1980: News

Article excerpt

Packed lunches: chaotic and costly

Children who bring their own packed lunches to school cost the nation millions of pounds, advocates of school meals say.

Huge sums are being spent on staff to supervise and clear up after the packed-lunch pupils, who cannot be charged anything to offset the costs. Under the new Education Act 1980, schools have to provide free facilities for the children to eat their own food.

The switch to packed lunches is also causing administrative chaos in schools, according to the NAHT heads' union. David Hart, the union's general secretary, told TES this week that heads were furious at being forced to provide free facilities. In practice, he said, this meant that schools would be littered with food parcels.

To add to the cost and the confusion, school-meals organisers are concerned that the packed lunches being brought in by children often consist of junk food. One chief education officer said this week that many children brought "picnics" to school, which were not only of a lower nutritional standard than the school meal but which in many cases must have cost the parents more. …

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