A Plymouth mum has slammed her son’s school after he “went without lunch” on his first day back.
Concerned mother Amy, whose 12-year-old son Oscar attends Marine Academy Plymouth, said she had never had any problems with the “good school” before, but was left “upset” to discover some pupils “hadn’t been fed”.
Amy said she hoped the problem was a “teething issue”, but raised concerns that no member of staff contacted her about the lunchtime issue.
The school is currently offering every single child a free breakfast and lunch every day.
A spokesperson for the school said it did not run out of any food on the menu, and “no child needed to go without”, with several options, including a meat main course, a vegetarian main course and a snack grab bag available.
“It’s just such a good school usually and I’ve not had any other problems with them so it’s upsetting that so many kids haven’t been able to get food,” Amy said.
“At lunchtime he went to get his lunch but they had run out of food.
“I found out on Facebook that there are many parents whose kids went without lunch yesterday, and those that had lunch was an absolute pittance.”
Amy said her son went straight to his dad’s home after school, so she did not find out until 8pm.
Posts on a school Facebook group stated that one boy “had the tiniest bit of rice” and there was “nothing else”, another parent said her daughter was left with “lumpy mash” and “stale sandwiches”.
Another parent said her son was offered a cheese sandwich, but “hates cheese”, so was not able to eat lunch.
Amy told PlymouthLive: “They sent us an info email before school starting stating that every child will get free breakfast and free lunch, and that’s a really great thing for them to be doing, but it’s failed.
“They just expected kids to keep being able to stay focused on their school work while they hadn’t been fed and their parents hadn’t been informed.
“Nine hours is a long time to go without food.
“I am hoping it’s just some teething issues and it’ll get fixed soon but the fact they haven’t contacted any parents to let them know is quite concerning.”
What Marine Academy Plymouth say
A school spokesperson said: “Our teachers and staff have made an incredible effort to ensure pupils returning to school do so safely and with everything they need.
“Here at Marine Academy Plymouth Secondary School we have been providing free lunches for all pupils as they return back to school safely.
“In order to provide free lunches and to ensure we serve every year group in their bubbles, we are offering a changing menu every day with a main course (meat), a main course (vegetarian) or a sandwich and snack grab bag.
“Students can also bring their own pack lunch. Further to this a free breakfast is served every day for children from 07.45am.
“There are options for students to choose from for lunch, and it is not the case that we ran out of food or any of the dishes available on the menu, so no child needed to go without.”