KIDS at a new school are only allowed to eat vegetarian meals – with a strict ban on packed lunches.
One furious parent slammed the move by bosses at The Swan School in Summertown, Oxford, and claimed her daughter “came home hungry” after the academy opened on Monday.
The new secondary has a completely vegetarian canteen and pupils have no alternative but to eat the hot meal on offer.
Lunch options on the Swan School’s menu include lentil lasagne, minted pea and feta frittata and Quorn sausage and potato bake.
One mum said: “The only thing about this school is the vegetarian food – my daughter came home today very hungry.
“I’ve heard that a lot of children were very hungry as well – there should be option at dinner time [to] eat meat, I’ve never known a school to be like this.”
Parents were made aware of the vegetarian policy prior to sending their kids to the school.
Headteacher Kay Wood said: “We have chosen to serve vegetarian meals at lunchtimes for three main reasons.
“Firstly, it allows us to serve better quality meals for the same money. Secondly, there are huge environmental and sustainability benefits.
It allows students of all faiths and different dietary requirements to eat together
Headteacher Kay Wood
“Most importantly, it allows students of all faiths and different dietary requirements to eat together.”
It’s thought to be a first for an Oxford state school but is not unique with The Gower School in London offering vegetarian-only meals.
There are a couple of meat or fish options available for snacks during break time but lunches are strictly vegetarian.
She stressed the decision to provide vegetarian meals “isn’t a judgement of people who eat meat or an attempt to make our students vegetarian.”
Ms Wood added: “Packed lunches are not banned because the students might bring in meat – we don’t allow them because we want all the children and staff to eat together and engage at lunchtime.
Vegetarian schools and nurseries in the UK
The Gower School in Islington, London:
Early Learning Years Nursery in Finchley, North London
Crossley Mill Nursery in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire
ACE Day Nursery in Cambridge
Little Pebbles in Hendon, London
“Everyone is working really hard to make sure the food is delicious and nutritious.
“It goes without saying that we are committed to making sure students are not hungry – we offer free breakfast every day for all students.”
Pupils can get free porridge in the morning and can buy healthy snacks at break time but are not allowed to bring in any other food.
The new school’s website states: “Everyone is encouraged to engage in conversation and take responsibility for different aspects of the service, for example laying the table, serving food, or tidying the table at the end of the meal.
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“Each lunch service is guided by a senior member of staff who leads a daily ‘reflection’ and weekly ‘gratitudes’ where students express thanks for what others have done for them during the week.”
Last week, a law came into force in France, making all schools serve at least one vegetarian meal per week, while all New York City state schools have introduced “meatless Mondays” this year.
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