A SCHOOL is to meet with parents following a backlash against a new food policy banning sausage rolls and pork pies from children's lunchboxes.

Shirley Manor Primary Academy, in Wyke, introduced its 'Whole School Food and Drink Policy' at the start of the September term – and one parent claims the policy led to a sausage roll being taken from his son's packed lunch.

But the school says it wants to ensure children eat well and wants to work with parents to achieve this.

The policy, led by Government guidelines, says pupils are encouraged to show their packed lunches to a member of staff before and after they have eaten, especially in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 and states: "Pork pies, sausage rolls, pepperoni sticks are high in salt and saturated fat. These items should not be included in a pupils packed lunchbox. If found a parent will be called.

"Desserts, cakes, biscuits and crisps: these foods are high in saturated fat, sugar and salt – too much of these foods can be harmful to health. If a pupil has more than one of these items in their lunchbox they will be removed by staff and returned to the child at the end of the day."

Squash, fizzy drinks and flavoured water, even if labelled 'sugar free', 'no added sugar' or 'reduced sugar' are also banned and the policy sets out they will be removed and given back at the end of the day if taken into school. Parent Steve Fryer, who's son fell victim to the school's sausage roll cull, slammed the policy as "ridiculous".

Mr Fryer, 52, described his son as a fussy eater and said: "Teachers are there to teach them. You send your kids to school to learn."

Another parent said: "I am all for healthiness, but sometimes, they can be picky eaters. I wish it was more relaxed. It is hard for us parents who have picky children."

Head teacher Heather Lacey said: “We want to ensure that our children eat well and grow up understanding the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle.

“We have written to parents to let them know how we want to work together from this term to ensure their children eat a balanced meal.

“It is important that pupils avoid eating too much food that is high in sugar, salt and saturated fats. This includes things like pork pies and sausage rolls, sweets and fizzy drinks in their packed lunches.

“Children are allowed a treat each day and we have invited parents into school to discuss their children’s dietary needs."

She added the child was offered a choice of healthier alternatives and chose to have a ham sandwich with crisps, fruit and biscuits he had brought from home.

"We want to work with our parents to ensure pupils are happy and healthy in school and that these changes work for every child.

“We are having a drop in session on Thursday where parents can come in and discuss any eating or health issues.”

  • Have you had a run-in with your child's school over what's in their lunchbox? Call our reporter Felicity Macnamara on 01274 705339