No such thing as a free school lunch…

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  • No such thing as a free school lunch…
  • oliwb
    Member

    No…..and I agree. Those kids who have parents that can’t afford it shouldn’t be at a disadvantage. (hopefully) Irresponsible parents will be hit in other departments that won’t affect their children – though if you read the Daily Mail it’s hard to see how sometimes.

    But on this basis why give universal school meals at a greater cost to the tax payer? What’s so bad about the status-quo?

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    I was browsing the broadsheets’ website over lunch and, in the context of the earlier argument about don’t have kids if you cant afford to feed them, thought Attenborough’s ideas were relevant (in a tangential kind of way)

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/attenborough-correct-or-barmy-himself?replies=1#post-5346853

    oliwb
    Member

    ^^^ that is a totally different scenario. I am a definite believer in the universal healthcare system.

    As stated I have no issues as a tax payer subsidizing the cost of decent food for people who can’t afford it – though I still think it’s irresponsible to have a child (intentionally) if you know that’s going to be the case.

    However, if you can afford it….why shouldn’t you pay for it? It was after all your choice to have a child – surely you took the decision knowing that there would be sacrifices (only being able to take holidays at set times, paying for clubs, food, hobbies etc).

    Personally, I think the benefit system should be there to help people get through rough times and ensure that kids growing up are not disadvantaged by their (sometimes irresponsible) parent’s choices. It shouldn’t be a right and it shouldn’t be a way of getting out of working for life (even if that work ends up being some sort of state funded community service type thing).

    cchris2lou
    Member

    Catering manager in a school.

    All menus must comply with 14 food standards, like iron, vitamins, saturated fat, energy etc…
    Only way to comply is to employ dietician or use a software.

    The school food plan which came out in July is a bit more flexible. No need to analyse the menus, but compulsory to have fruit and veg every day etc…

    The issue is not what is offered but enough staff in dining room to encourage kids to eat.

    Quality of the food is not main reason for low take up on school meals. Peer pressure and social environment are much more important.

    LHS
    Member

    Some links for you to debunk, LHS

    First one written by a hippy in Malibu, not exactly peer-reviewed research
    Second one is an article on a particular race, not relevant to me.
    Third one is not saying its good for you, just saying that margarine etec isn’t exactly any better – something i agree with.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    You’re not prepared to enlighten us to the perfect lunch then LHS….

    Saving it for your book? 😆

    Premier Icon Coyote
    Subscriber

    Oil.

    It was after all your choice to have a child

    And that child will contribute to your well being later in life through paying taxes that will provide healthcare, pension etc. If you end up devoid of your faculties and unable to care for yourself it may be one of those children who ends up wiping your arse.

    oliwb
    Member

    Coyote – I don’t really see what your point is. The majority of people will choose to have kids and can probably afford to do so (me included). I think everyone agrees the world is not exactly suffering from a declining population (at least not globally).

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    I think everyone agrees the world is not exactly suffering from a declining population (at least not globally).

    We are though

    And the same Daily Mailers who don’t want ‘their’ taxes to be feeding ‘other peoples’ kids (whether planned or not), don’t want any of those bloody johnny foreigner, immigrants either.

    Though the alternative is…….?

    I don’t see them coming up with many suggestions

    gonefishin
    Member

    What a child does or does not do at some point in the future does not obviate a parents responsibilities. Feeding your child being one of the most basic responsibility. Again a safety net for those who need it but not for those who can afford it.

    I’ve no doubt that the benefits are there but these are from having a school meal, not having a free school meal. Make school meals compulsory and you’ll see the same benefit without having to pass the cost onto the tax payer.

    Premier Icon verses
    Subscriber

    Make school meals compulsory and you’ll see the same benefit without having to pass the cost onto the tax payer.

    Hang on, you’ve just financially penalised me (oo-er)!

    My daughter get’s a balanced diet at home and in her packed lunch. Why should I be forced to pay £15 a week for school dinners?!

    gonefishin
    Member

    It wouldn’t cost you £15 per week though would it. It would cost £15 less whatever it costs you now to provide those packed lunches. Besides these are the people who are going to be caring for you in your dotage so is that a price worth paying?

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Are they making packed lunches illegal when they bring this in?

    What about pushing Happy Meals, or a big bag of sausage rolls and pasties from Greggs, through the school fence? If I do that, do I qualify for a tax rebate?

    warton
    Member

    How the hell am I supposed to dress my kids in Fred Perry and Polo, if I also have to pay for school dinners?

    joemarshall
    Member

    Again a safety net for those who need it but not for those who can afford it.

    So far fewer kids take school meals, including fewer of those who are eligible for free school meals (possibly because all their mates aren’t having school lunches or something). So the current situation is worse at providing a safety net for those who need it. And the kids who need it were the ones who benefited most from this.

    The position on what is provided for kids at schools and what is brought in is essentially arbitrary. Most people would assume that books were provided in schools, but on the face of it, there is no real reason why books (essential for learning) are provided, when food (essential for learning) isn’t. There’s no reason parents who can afford to shouldn’t pay for their kid’s reading books. Basically there isn’t a real moral reason for parents to pay for some things and not for others, it is just how society happens to have evolved.

    So personally I think we should just treat this as the same as any other spending on educational or health interventions; rather than take some kind of moral stance on the rights and wrongs of giving people food, we should look at the improvement in outcomes from it versus the cost, and judge it on that. Looking at the study, it at least rules out the obvious ‘make the safety net a little bit bigger’ approach to free school meals, leaving you with two choices, keep the current approach, or free meals for all, depending on whether you think the learning improvements in the pilot studies suggest that it is worthwhile to spend that amount of money.

    dragon
    Member

    Easy allow parents to opt-out, at the start of each year or term.

    joemarshall
    Member

    What a child does or does not do at some point in the future does not obviate a parents responsibilities.

    So we should punish children because their parents don’t make them a healthy lunch, or feed them properly at home?

    dirtycrewdom
    Member

    The tax break for married couples is **** ridiculous though.

    +1

    even though im married I think its wrong

    What tax break? I’m married but my taxes have remained the same as before.

    dragon
    Member

    The position on what is provided for kids at schools and what is brought in is essentially arbitrary.

    It isn’t, schools are for learning therefore they provide learning materials. Schools were never designed to replace responsible parenting, yet this is what they are ever increasing turning into.

    gonefishin
    Member

    Looking at the study, it at least rules out the obvious ‘make the safety net a little bit bigger’ approach to free school meals, leaving you with two choices, keep the current approach, or free meals for all, depending on whether you think the learning improvements in the pilot studies suggest that it is worthwhile to spend that amount of money.

    There is a third option of making the meals compulsory with the costs borne by the parents, excepting those who qualify for free meals. You get the same benefit in terms if educational achievement without the tax payer having to pick up the tab. What else do parents want? For the taxpayer to pick up the tab for breakfast too? What about evening meals, weekends, holidays? A line has to be drawn somewhere.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    Im just trying to figure out what kind of person begurdges their taxes being spent on feeding children

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Tories. They begrudge ‘their’ taxes being spent on anything other than them.

    There’s no such thing as society remember

    5thElefant
    Member

    Im just trying to figure out what kind of person begurdges their taxes being spent on feeding children

    It’s far harder to accept that some people don’t think they should be responsible for feeding their own children.

    Inbred456
    Member

    This scheme was originally trialled in every school in Co Durham. My sons school being one of the schools. Now he has had a school dinner every lunchtime regardless. The take up for the poorer children was almost 100% when they were free, meaning that the crap they were fed in their packed lunches was down to cost. Surely we owe it to the kids to provide them with at least one nutritional meal a day. This is one of those schemes that could actually save money in the long run.

    Premier Icon Coyote
    Subscriber

    Schools were never designed to replace responsible parenting, yet this is what they are ever increasing turning into.

    Source?
    First hand evidence / experience?

    dragon
    Member

    The type of person who (a) expects parents to act responsibly, and/or (b) those who feel the same achievement benefits could be achieved more efficiently by other means.

    stumpy01
    Member

    kimbers – Member
    Im just trying to figure out what kind of person begurdges their taxes being spent on feeding children

    I don’t think anyone begrudges paying taxes that go towards feeding kids whose parents can’t afford to do so properly themselves.
    I think the issue is that there are parents out there who can afford to pay for their kids meals, but won’t have to as it will be covered by this ‘blanket school meals’ thing.
    And the question seems to be why should other tax payers pay for the school meals of those kids; not the kids whose parents can’t afford it? Personally, I would rather that parents who can afford to pay for their kids meals did so, and that money went to helping the kids who need the help/assistance even more (school uniforms, extra tuition, books, etc?)

    I like the ‘won’t someone thing of the children’ style of your post though….. 😉

    grum
    Member

    Schools were never designed to replace responsible parenting, yet this is what they are ever increasing turning into.

    Some people seem to have never heard of the phrase in loco parentis.

    And the question seems to be why should other tax payers pay for the school meals of those kids; not the kids whose parents can’t afford it? Personally, I would rather that parents who can afford to pay for their kids meals did so, and that money went to helping the kids who need the help/assistance even more (school uniforms, extra tuition, books, etc?)

    I imagine that as with the winter fuel allowance, the cost of means testing negates any saving.

    Premier Icon Coyote
    Subscriber

    What if it was proved cheaper to provide the meals across the board rather than a system of means testing? What would the consensus be then? Would we still want means testing to ensure that none of our precious tax revenues weren’t spent mistakenly on some undeserving child purely as a point of principle?

    Don’t forget this is only aimed at Reception / Y1 / Y2. Not all children.

    gonefishin
    Member

    If it was demonstrated that it was cheaper to provide free meals for everyone rather than just those on low incomes (in total not on a per child basis) then I would welcome that. I am not aware of any such evidence though.

    That however is not the question that was asked though was it.

    mudshark
    Member

    My taxes pay for all sorts of school related costs, I don’t mind paying a bit more to ensure kids get a good meal. I wonder if given the shite some people eat maybe if the kids understand a bit more about eating healthily they’ll be more likely to want to eat well later in life?

    clubber
    Member

    Well it’s certainly quite noticeable that my son comes home from school talking and asking about healthy food since it’s being taught and discussed at school.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    gonefishin – Member
    If it was demonstrated that it was cheaper to provide free meals for everyone rather than just those on low incomes (in total not on a per child basis) then I would welcome that. I am not aware of any such evidence though.

    but it was demonstrated in one of the studies above (and most other studies on similar programes) that you get a higher uptake for the poorer kids if theres a blanket programe that covers everyone rather than just targeting those in need

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    Universal free school meals is cheaper to administer than opt-out/means tested/by application.

    joemarshall – Member
    So we should punish children because their parents don’t make them a healthy lunch, or feed them properly at home?

    +1, walk down any street anywhere in the world and you’ll see feckless parents. The kids don’t have any choice.

    5thElefant – Member
    It’s far harder to accept that some people don’t think they should be responsible for feeding their own children.

    What do you suggest as a cheaper way of making sure these children are fed? Plus see above.

    dirtycrewdom – Member
    What tax break? I’m married but my taxes have remained the same as before.

    🙄

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    If only there were a quick and easy way of differentiating between the deserving and the undeserving poor?

    It’d make all this kind of thing so much easier

    stumpy01
    Member

    Coyote – Member
    What if it was proved cheaper to provide the meals across the board rather than a system of means testing? What would the consensus be then? Would we still want means testing to ensure that none of our precious tax revenues weren’t spent mistakenly on some undeserving child purely as a point of principle?

    Yeah. as grum says perhaps it is because administering a system to define who needs help and who doesn’t might be prohibitively expensive in relation to the amount of ‘benefit’ dished out. And of course in that case it makes sense to apply it in a ‘blanket’ manner.

    Coyote – your posts seem to be very snipey towards those who are questioning this.
    I can’t recall seeing one post that says any of the children are ‘underserving’ of a proper meal. Rather, that for those whose parents can afford it, the meal should perhaps come from the parent, rather than the state? There has been no mention of whether a certain child is more deserving than another of a proper meal.
    I, for one took a while to actually comment on this as there seems to be a few people getting quite high & mighty, even agrgessive about the whole thing.

    Don’t forget this is only aimed at Reception / Y1 / Y2. Not all children.

    So, in a similar vein to your ‘what would the consensus be?’ question…….if it could be proven that if parents who can afford to pay for their own kids’ meals did so, the scheme could be extended to cover more years, so more kids who perhaps would go without got nutritious meals what would be your opinion of that? Would you welcome the more wealthy parents paying their own way, so more kids in need could be helped out?

    gonefishin
    Member

    but it was demonstrated in one of the studies above (and most other studies on similar programes) that you get a higher uptake for the poorer kids if theres a blanket programe that covers everyone rather than just targeting those in need

    That’s not proof that it is cheaper, that’s just a higher uptake. Not even close to the same thing. Besides what I’ve suggested is a blanket program, make the meals compulsary. It isn’t that different to what has been suggested it just involves the parents who don’t qualify for free meals having to pay for it. I can’t see how that is unreasonable.

    What do you suggest as a cheaper way of making sure these children are fed? Plus see above.

    What exactly is wrong with my suggestion?

    Premier Icon Nobby
    Subscriber

    And the question seems to be why should other tax payers pay for the school meals of those kids; not the kids whose parents can’t afford it? Personally, I would rather that parents who can afford to pay for their kids meals did so, and that money went to helping the kids who need the help/assistance even more (school uniforms, extra tuition, books, etc?)

    There is an economic argument to say that those parents that can afford it already pay more tax than those that can’t so are, in effect, subsidising themselves. The number of children that would benefit is tiny compared to the number of taxpayers in the UK so the relative cost to you as an individual is pretty insignificant.

    Also, in many cases, it’s not just about he food. I was amazed by how many kids in our school rarely sat down and ate as a family at home. On occasion, the school invites parents into have lunch with their kid(s) i.e. a Fathers Day lunch. it’s on days such as this that some kids have school meals that don’t normally and at the last couple I attended it was incredible to see how many didn’t (couldn’t?) use a knife & fork properly – even in Key Stage 2. Watching the teachers engaging both parents & kids in conversation was really nice to see and the littl’uns in particular seemed to really take to it.

    Binners. There is, eugenics.

    I do think its more imprtnant to spen MY taxes on weapons and underwriting ‘free market’ capitalism though

    Oh and potholes

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