Marcus Rashford responds to school which will not feed children '1p in debt'
The strict policy has been condemned by many
Marcus Rashford has responded to the news that a school in Wales plans to not feed pupils that are any more than 1p in debt on their school accounts.
The footballer has been campaigning for free school meals for vulnerable children throughout the pandemic, work for which he received an MBE in early November.
However this week, parents of pupils at Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle in Penygroes received a letter warning them that children whose school accounts were more than a penny in debt would not be given school meals.
The letter from strategic head Neil Foden said that the school cook had been told not to give food to any child "if their debt has not been cleared, or, in the future, to children whose accounts do not have enough money to pay for lunch".
Rashford has now responded to the news of the strict policy.
In a tweet, he wrote: "Has the pandemic not taught us anything? Can we not be understanding? Come on now…"
Has the pandemic not taught us anything? Can we not be understanding? Come on now… https://t.co/kGKbgaEbhs
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) November 11, 2021
Parents of pupils at the school have condemned the policy.
One mum wrote: "Shocking. I was £6 in debt and only realised yesterday. I completely forgot as I've been so busy with opening a new shop, running a business and caring for 4 children it slipped my mind. Not once did the school my children attend message or phoned me."
Another said: "Absolutely shocking. What the hell’s wrong with system, the child might not know mam and dad are struggling to pay, it might be the only food that child eats that day."
In a statement following the outrage, Foden said pupils from the poorest families were still eligible for free school meals.
He said: "Any parent in genuine financial difficulty should write to their child’s Head of Year in order that we may see how best to assist.
"We understand that many families have experienced financial difficulty during the pandemic and we are not unsympathetic.
"However, any shortfall in the budget for school meals will have to be made up by the school which could mean fewer books and resources for all pupils because of debts run up by a few."
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