It’s widely known that schools around the UK have taken steps over the past few years to improve and change-up school dinner options.
But one particular school has decided to only serve meat-free options, alongside banning packed lunches.
Vegetarian meals only
A school that has only just opened its doors has faced backlash due to its decision to only serve vegetarian meals at lunch time, alongside banning any food from home.
The Swan School, located in Summertown, Oxford, is serving options such as lentil lasagne, minted pea and feta frittata, and Quorn sausage and potato bake.
However, 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."
There are a few meat and fish options available for snacks at break time, but during lunchtime the canteen is strictly vegetarian.
The mother who complained said, “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.”
However, it’s reported that parents were made aware of the vegetarian policy prior to sending their kids to the school.
Three main reasons
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.
“Most importantly, it allows students of all faiths and different dietary requirements to eat together.”
Ms Wood also stresses that the decision to provide vegetarian meals isn’t a judgement of those who do eat meat.
No packed lunches
Pupils are offered free porridge in the morning, but have to pay for snacks and lunches. Pupils are not allowed to bring in any other food.
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.
“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.”
This article was originally published on our sister site, Yorkshire Evening Post.