South Park Primary School takes nine-year-old out of lunch queue because mum forgot to pay £2
- Credit: Archant
A primary school refused to give a nine-year-old pupil his lunch because he had a £2 debt on his account.
The boy was taken out of the lunch queue in front of his friends and told he could not eat a hot dinner.
South Park Primary School pupil Tayyib Ali was in the care of his aunty Robina Shan, after his mum had to “rush off up north” to care for her sick mother.
In her haste she forgot to top up his account and the family said they have not been in debt with the school before.
Robina said the first time she knew about the situation was when she picked up Tayyib from school and he was “really upset and embarrassed”.
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She said: “How can this happen in 2018, where a child is left hungry – he was just given bread, I am not even sure if there was butter on it.”
“It wasn’t like we were in long-term arrears, I can’t believe it got to this level.
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“Children should not be penalised for an adult’s role – that’s on the parents.”
Headteacher Debbie Keigwin said: “The pupil was provided with fruit salad (including a carbohydrate option) bread and milk, which is given when their parents have not kept up with payments.
“This decision was taken after every effort was made to remind the parents that they were behind with payments – including text, email and phone.
“Whilst we regret the distress this incident may have caused the family, our approach was introduced because of the significant number of late payments and bad debts on school meals.”
Robina said the school, in Water Lane, Seven Kings, called her 15 minutes before lunchtime to say that Tayyib’s older brother was in arrears and she needed to pay to ensure he had lunch.
“They called me purely in regards to the older one, and when they said everything was sorted I thought it was.
“After I paid, his account was in credit, so they could have taken £2 from his and given it to Tayyib, it’s the same family.”