THE DOMINO’S EFFECT

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PIZZA-loving pupils have been caught snubbing the healthy options on offer in their canteen – by having dozens of them delivered right to the school gates.

The youngsters at St David’s RC High School in Dalkeith have been ordering their lunches from Domino’s Pizza, with delivery drivers initially dropping them off in the school car park.

Teachers quickly put a stop to this over health and safety fears but, since then, the enterprising pupils have continued to get their “junk-food” fix by meeting Domino’s delivery drivers from the chain’s Gilmerton branch at the back of the school, outside the campus.

Delivery drivers were caught in the act by the Evening News after parents raised the alarm over concerns that the school was not doing enough to promote healthy eating.

Dozens of pupils lined up to collect around 35 pizzas just outside school grounds last Tuesday.

They have even been taking them into the school’s dinner hall to eat, yards away from a counter which serves up a daily healthy lunch menu.

As many as 70 pizzas have been delivered at one time, an order which would normally cost around £500, but is half of that thanks to the chain’s “two-for-one Tuesday” deal.

By contrast, the school canteen sells healthy meals such as a baked potato with a filling and a healthy drink for £1.90, a hot filled panini, salad and a healthy drink for £1.90, or a baguette with filling for £1.25.

Parents are angry that the children are ignoring the healthy options. One mother said: “A lot of parents are unaware that this happens, but I don’t think they would be happy about it if they knew.

“The parents I have spoken to feel the same as me. I don’t think they should be allowed to bring junk food into school. I try to curb junk food at home so why should I send my son to school so he can eat junk food there?”

The sister of one of the pupils added: “In a country with obesity problems, surely our schools should be pushing healthy eating. Parents are against this and want the issue taken further.”

Thirty-eight pizzas were delivered to the pupils last Tuesday, but it looks set to be the last lunchtime delivery.

A spokesman for Domino’s Pizza said: “Domino’s head office and the franchisee of the store were unaware of these deliveries.

“The teaching staff at the school were aware and had arranged a safe delivery point for the pizzas, but we have decided to stop deliveries to the school with immediate effect.

“We take our social responsibility seriously. We will always work with schools to support healthy eating initiatives.”

Councillor Peter Boyes, Midlothian’s education leader, said: “We have advised the pizza companies that they cannot deliver pizzas to the school car park and pupils that they cannot pick them up in this area. We are aware that some pupils did arrange delivery of pizzas and are investigating where it took place.

“It is not easy for schools to police what pupils eat when they are outside school premises on their lunch break, but Midlothian Council will continue to promote healthy eating.”

gfraser@edinburghnews.com

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