Headteacher warns pupils won't receive food if they owe school more than 1p - Daily Net

Headteacher warns pupils won’t receive food if they owe school more than 1p

A headteacher has sent a message to parents saying their children will not be given any food if their school meal accounts are more than a penny in debt.

Neil Foden, the strategic head of Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle in Penygroes, Gwynedd, Wales, said the decision was made after pupils had run up debts totalling more than £1,800.

In a letter to parents, Mr Foden said the school cook had been instructed not to give food to any child “if their debt has not been cleared, or, in the future, to children whose accounts do not have enough money to pay for lunch”, North Wales Live reports.

The letter sent to parents by Neil Foden

The headteacher wrote: “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.”

The email added further steps will be taken including refusing to serve children at the school which has around 450 pupils aged 11-18.

Mr Foden apologised for the approach but said the “scale of the default means that something clearly has to be done”.

The message caused outrage among parents, with people criticising the headteacher’s decision on social media.

A person wrote: “Absolutely shocking. What the hell’s wrong with system, the child might not know mam and dad are struggling to pay, it might be the only food that child eats that day.”

The school said parents have until November 19 to get their children’s accounts up to date (


Another parent said: “If they would actually let you pay your £1.60 bill Without having to pay a min payment of £10, would be a help. Seriously!”

One more person said: “I would suggest that the head himself tells the kids they cant eat, don’t put that on the kitchen staff! We’ve gone from giving children free breakfasts to this. Think of the damage this is doing!”

A Gwynedd Council spokesperson said: “We would urge any parent or guardian who are having difficulty in paying for their child’s school meals to contact the education department or school directly. Their child may be entitled to free school meals.

“In terms of payment of school meals, an online system has been introduced on which parents should ensure that sufficient funds are in place to pay for their child’s school meals.

“The payment system offers some flexibility for parents who may for whatever reason not be able to make payment for a short period of time.

“Reminder messages are sent as required to ensure that no significant debts are incurred.

“As a council, we do not operate a blanket policy of refusing meals to pupils, and will discuss this matter directly with the school.”



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