Search

Wembley free school makes children eat lunch alone if parents fail to pay for school meals on time

PUBLISHED: 13:04 29 July 2016 | UPDATED: 13:17 29 July 2016

Katharine Birbalsingh, headteacher of Michaela Community School

Katharine Birbalsingh, headteacher of Michaela Community School

Archant

A Wembley free school is forcing children to eat by themselves and denying them a hot meal if their parents fail to pay for school lunches on time.

Michaela Community School, a mixed secondary free school in North End Road, puts pupils in “lunch isolation” if parents fall behind on regular school meal payments.

Children are made to sit on their own for an hour and given just a sandwich and piece of fruit, instead of the usual hot meal and dessert.

The policy is the brainchild of controversial headteacher Katharine Birbalsingh, who said the measure was to encourage parents to “change their ways”.

In a letter to a family of a child at Michaela, deputy headteacher Barry Smith wrote: “You are currently £75 overdue. If this full amount is not received within this week, your child will be placed into lunch isolation...”

It continued: “They will receive a sandwich and piece of fruit only. They will spent the entire 60 minutes [sic] period in lunch isolation.

“Only when the outstanding sum is paid in full will they be allowed into family lunch with their classmates.”

The family who were sent the letter have now moved their child to another school.

Meals at the school cost £2.50 a day, and payment is required up front. Typical lunches include cheese and tomato pizza and ice cream, and a jacket potato with cheese and beans, followed by a mousse.

Miss Birbalsingh defended putting children in isolation for missed payments, and told The Daily Mail: “The letter from Barry Smith... was sent in an attempt to encourage mum to change her ways and support her son by paying for his food.

“The vast majority of secondary schools use isolation to discipline children.”

The school describes itself as having a “private school ethos” with no fees.

Miss Birbalsingh rose to prominence after speaking out at the 2010 Conservative party conference in support of former education secretary Michael Gove, claiming that the state education system was “broken”.

She went on to found Michaela in 2014 after leaving her job as deputy headteacher of a south London comprehensive school.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Kilburn Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Kilburn Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Kilburn Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Kilburn & Brent News Stories

Yesterday, 18:28

A 16-year-old boy has been found guilty of murdering a 21 year-old man in a rush hour shooting.

Yesterday, 16:28

The skies were alight on Saturday as Hindu communities in Brent celebrated their New Year celebrations.

Yesterday, 16:08

The body of a woman has been found in West Hampstead.

Yesterday, 15:00

Consultations to gauge opinion concerning two proposed overground train stations at Old Oak Common start on Monday.

Yesterday, 13:05

A Wembley man has been charged with the murder of a teenager in Park Royal. He is set to stand trial next year.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Quality fish and chips are promised in Kilburn by pub chiefs who have been given a green light to turn their function room into a takeaway.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Police were called to an address on Lakeside Drive at 2am this morning

Friday, October 20, 2017

Brent recorded the third highest numbers of homicides across London in the 12 months up until June of this year.

PROMOTED CONTENT

If you have been looking for laser hair removal, beauty salon treatments, or skin care services you may be confused and overwhelmed with so much information out there and so many clinics and salons promising miraculous results.

Louise McGowan, who started as headmistress of Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College in September, speaks to education editor James Scott about life at the school.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Read Kilburn News

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now