School bans knives and forks forcing children to eat with their hands instead

School bans knives and forks forcing children to eat with their hands instead

 

Children at a primary school are being forced to eat with their hands at lunchtime after knives and forks were banned.

Pupils at Edgar Stammers Primary Academy were expected to eat a ‘small amount of mash served in a Yorkshire pudding’ without any cutlery.

The youngsters are having school dinners delivered to their classrooms to prevent them from mixing with children from other bubbles in the coronavirus pandemic.

A reduced menu of finger food is being offered at the West Midlands school in Walsall to ensure this is done as safely as possible, Birmingham Live reports.

But parents were unhappy to discover their little ones were left to eat mash with their hands, with one calling it an “utter joke.”

Headteacher Darren Mann admitted in a letter to parents that not all feedback was positive.

He said: “As parents know, we have been trying to increase the amount of hot food in the menu, but with the restriction of it being classed as finger food.

“Today, as part of the lunch, we had a small amount of mash that was served in a Yorkshire pudding to enable the children to pick it up and eat together.

“Unfortunately, the feedback from this from some parents and children has not been positive.

“We’d like to thank these parents and children for their feedback and we realise that it hasn’t worked today.

“We will look to adapt the menu again to try and make it better and easier for the children.”

In his letter, sent at the end of November, Mr Mann reassured parents he had expressed the desire to bring back cutlery as soon as possible via the University of Wolverhampton Multi Academy Trust (UWMAT).

He added: “I have also informed our academy trust of our desire to start using cutlery as soon as possible.

“As soon as it is deemed safe under their Covid restrictions, we will let all parents and children know.”

Professor Michelle Shaw, CEO at UWMAT, said picnic lunches were being served in brown bags as plates, hot food and utensils ‘could not be transported around schools safely’.

She said: “All our school leaders work very closely with their catering teams to continue to provide hot meals for our children throughout the pandemic.

“Arrangements at lunchtimes are in place to ensure that children do not mix with children from other bubbles, meaning that children are having their food brought to them in their areas of the school buildings instead of using school dining halls.

“To ensure that this is done as safely as possible, hot meals are provided in ‘grab bag’ style packaging.”

Prof Shaw said the school has increased hygiene measures and that pupils washed their hands before and after meals, with limited use of hard utensils.

She reassured menus are carefully planned to ensure they comply with school food standards, including different foods each week including fruit and veg.

She added:”All decisions that we make are carefully considered and we highly value the views of all our school communities, encouraging our parents/carers and children to give feedback.

“With health and safety as the priority in all our schools, all of our Covid risk assessments are reviewed regularly and procedures are updated accordingly.

“We have ensured that we keep our children safe by limiting the use of hard utensils which may spread the virus, and continue to monitor the situation following all available guidance.

“We cannot transport plates, hot food and utensils around schools safely, as some have steps, nor can we keep that food at the required temperatures to serve it.

“Therefore we have chosen to provide brown bag, picnic lunches in classrooms. These consist of healthy choices, devised with our caterers.

“We have risk assessed all of our Covid practices using an external health and safety specialist company and our practices are robust.”

She added: “UWMAT is fully committed to ensuring that eating in school is a pleasurable experience for all children.”

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