A mum feared her son would go hungry after the school sent her a ‘threatening’ text when his dinner money account went just 30p into arrears.
The parent, who does not wish to be named, was surprised to receive the message from Paull Primary School in Hull.
She said she forgot to top up the online account where school dinner fees are taken from, reports the Hull Daily Mail.
The cost of school lunches at the school is £2.30, and the mum usually tops up £10 at a time, however had fallen 30p into arrears.
The text says: "You will need to make alternative arrangements for hot meals until the account is in credit."
The mum said it wasn’t the first time she had received a similar text.
"I often receive messages threatening that my child basically won’t receive a lunch the following day unless I clear my arrears," she said.
"The schools don’t give parents any leeway with their fees. I’ve received a message stating that because I am 30p in arrears I should make alternative arrangements."
The mum said although she could call on friends and family if she was ever short of cash, she feared what would happen to other children if their parents fell behind and were struggling to pay.
She said: "Now I have family and friends to turn to but if a parent can’t afford to pay that 30p what makes the school think they can afford to go out and pay for pack lunch items?
"I think it’s disgusting and putting a lot of pressure on parents, especially those that don’t have anyone to turn to.
"After speaking with a few of my friends with kids at different schools it seems to be happening all over Hull too. I just worry for the kids of parents who are struggling.
"I think I would just lose my cool if they made him go without any food. Sorry for the rant it just upsets me."
The headteacher at Paull Primary School has confirmed pupils would receive one meal whilst an account is in arrears.
Headteacher Paul Rowe said: "A child whose school meals account does not contain sufficient funds is provided with one meal and then parents are contacted and asked to make alternative arrangements for their child at lunchtime, such as a packed lunch, until the account is updated.
"The school has an on-line payment system so that parents can make a payment at any time."
The school did not wish to speculate on what would happen if, after one meal was provided, a child’s account remained in arrears.
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