School ‘reverses decision’ to not feed children ‘more than a penny in debt’
A school has reversed a decision refused to feed children if they are more than a penny in debt, the local MS has said.
Neil Foden, the strategic head of Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle in Penygroes, Gwynedd sparked a fierce backlash with the policy, which included criticism from Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.
According to the Plaid Cymru MS for Arfon, Sian Gwenllian, she’s received the “encouraging news” that not a “single child” will be “refused” a school lunch. She added that the situation “shouldn’t have arisen in first place”.
The Senedd member had previously said that she was “investigating” the matter after constituents contacted her to “express anger” and “concern” about the “unacceptable” decision.
Marcus Rashford had responded on social media to call on the school to be “more understanding”.
The 24-year-old was recognised with an MBE earlier this week for his drive to ensure no child in need went hungry during the pandemic.
Posting a picture of the letter sent by the headteacher on Twitter, the footballer asked: “Has the pandemic not taught us anything? Can we not be understanding? Come on now…”
“For many children, lunch at school is the only meal they’ll get.”
The letter said that parents have been set a deadline of November 19 to get their children’s accounts up to date. The reason given for this was that there was a deficit in the school meals budget at the end of the last half term.
Neil Foden apologised for the approach but said the “scale of the default means that something clearly has to be done”.
“Closer inspection revealed that this was because a handful of pupils had run up debts totalling more than £1,800. Unfortunately, this means that I have had to take the following steps,” he said.
“All debts over £10 will be transferred to the authority and parents will be invoiced by the council.
“All debts of over £0.01 will receive a message from the school to clear debts and credit the system by Friday, November 19th.”
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