Well, since I posted my open letter to the school about children going hungry at lunchtime, there have been over 4000 page views and no response from the school as yet (apart from an acknowledgement). I have done a fair bit of reading around the subject though - both comments here and on Facebook and other articles on the web.
Let me be clear, I am not out to bash Bitterne Park school. I think they do a good job but I think they have some problems because of the school’s buildings not being improved whilst the number of students increases. Whatever the reasons though (and I await their response), I don’t find it acceptable that children ever go hungry and I want something to change. There are some indications that the situation at Bitterne Park has got worse since the introduction of fingerprints for food (a.k.a cashless catering). That would be ironic as it was claimed it would speed service up. I argued that it could not speed it up as the slowest point in the queue was getting served. I didn’t expect it to slow it down though: has it?
What is more concerning though is that this doesn’t seem to be an isolated issue. Back in 2007 The Guardian wrote about school lunchtimes being cut. They attributed this to teachers contracts being changed so that only the senior management team are permitted to supervise lunchtimes. That means that a school must employ more lunchtime supervisors to manage the free-for-all, or alternatively cut down the time so that there is less chance of any unwanted incidents. Is that the right choice for the children’s health and well-being though? Various comments say that similar things happen at other schools in the city: if so, how have we let this happen so widely?
There are some great resources online around school lunches and making the food and the environment healthy for our children:
Fundamentally, an adult would not put up with it. Why should our children?