A school has provoked outrage after announcing plans to ban children from bringing in their own packed lunches.
Bosses at All Saint’s primary school in Clayton-le-Moors are set to introduce new rules after a Governemnt inspector found that less than one per cent of pupils bringing in packed lunches met ‘nutritional requirements’.
The ban will cover all Key Stage one pupils, those aged between five and seven in the Reception, Year One and Year Two.
Headteacher Ian Spencer said the move was part of a government initiative to provide the infants with at least one healthy balanced meal a day.
However some parents at the Church Street school said making it compulsory was a ‘disgraceful’ decision and that they should be given the choice.
A spokesperson for Lancashire County Council said they were not aware of any other schools making free school meals compulsory.
In a letter to the Observer, one parent, who asked not to be named, said: “I, along with other parents at the school, feel like our freedom of choice and liberty in this respect have been taken way from us.
“For those parents of children with food allergies/intolerances the food choices they make for their children are an important factor in their daily lives which I can only imagine must be difficult and time consuming.
“To take control and peace of mind away from these parents is disgraceful. I think the compulsory element should be removed.”
Mr Spencer said the school paid for an inspector from the Food Trust Agency to examine meals at the school earlier this year.
The inspector found that less than one per cent of those bringing in packed lunches met nutritional requirements.
The ban on packed lunches will come into force in Spetember.
Mr Spencer said only two parents had compained about the ba. He said: “If you start making exceptions that will cause problems as the parents whose child are eating meals that are not balanced are going to slip through the net. It is free and we are catering for diets and allergies. If they previously went to a nursery they would always have to eat what they provide so we are not doing anything totally off the planet.
“We are trying to provide the very best meals for children and we are providing a packed lunch option in school so they can have that or a hot meal.
“It’s only one or two parents who are complaining. The rest are happy as it’s free.”