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School bans girl's lunch box

PUBLISHED: 13:36 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 21:46 02 July 2010

Huw Carr with daughters Eilonwy and Arianwen

Huw Carr with daughters Eilonwy and Arianwen

AN 11-YEAR-OLD girl was told she couldn t bring a lunch box into school because it was a health and safety risk. Eilonwy Carr came home from her first week at Thomas Willingale Primary, The Broadway, Loughton distressed after being told it was against sch

AN 11-YEAR-OLD girl was told she couldn't bring a lunch box into school because it was a health and safety risk.

Eilonwy Carr came home from her first week at Thomas Willingale Primary, The Broadway, Loughton distressed after being told it was against school policy.

Furious dad Huw, 37, of Whitehills Road, Loughton, has removed Eilonwy and her sister Arianwen, nine, from the school, branding the move "stupid" and "out of touch".

Mr Carr, who describes his family as "keen environmentalists",said: "The school told me that all children must take in packed lunches in a throwaway bag.

"But, as a family, we make sure we don't use any disposable or throwaway products and prefer a lunch box which can be cleaned and used again."

The school told him lunch boxes had caused a vermin problem in the past.

The family, originally from Melbourne, Australia, moved to Loughton from north London earlier this year, and faced an increase of £20 to their weekly food budget if the girls had school dinners.

In a letter to the family, headteacher Marion Smith said: "The policy on disposable lunches is based on health and safety grounds, which is why there are no exceptions."

She explained to the Recorder that the school insists on disposable bags so lunches can be collected in a laundry bag and easily carried and stored, eliminating the vermin problem caused by forgotten lunch boxes.

She added: "We have one of the largest primary schools in the area with 15 classes of 30 children and the policy has been in place for at least 10 years.


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