Primary school in Queen’s Park bans pupils from having packed lunches

The four year old was told to eat free school meals against her parent's wishes (pic credit: Jan Nev

The four year old was told to eat free school meals against her parent's wishes (pic credit: Jan Nevill) - Credit: Archant

A primary school in Queen’s Park has banned a four-year-old girl from bringing in a packed launch despite her suffering from a food allergy.

Lisa-Mbali McFarlane, of Greenhill Road, Harlesden, was told she must eat the free lunches provided by Salusbury Primary School in Salusbury Road, Queen’s Park, on her first day on Monday.

When her parents Axel McFarlane, 48, and Gita Wolhuter 36, informed the school she was undergoing tests as she suffers from acute coughs and rashes when she eats certain types of food they claim their request fell on deaf ears.

She is due to undergo tests to find ascertain what food she is allergic to.

Mr McFarlane said: “The whole scenario is utterly outrageous and unbelievable. We feel like we have no control over what our children eats allergies aside, our children are fed a strict nutritious diet and we prefer if they have eat our lunches.

“I think it is our human right to be as fussy as we want when it comes to what we want our children to eat. “

The new initiative for all reception to year two pupils to be given free lunches was introduced in September by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to help improve concentration and raise educational performances in primary schools.

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All 270 students at the school are banned from bringing in packed lunches.

Linda Kiernan, headteacher at the school, told the Times that parents have been briefed on the policy prior to the start of term and has attracted minimal opposition.

“This is the policy we have at the school. Parents have a choice not to send their child to the school if they disagree.”

“Getting children to eat together around the table promotes social interaction which is a key life skill.”

“No child wants to be different when they first start school. It would be difficult for the few who opt for packed lunches to see the rest of their classmates enjoying their school dinners.”

After Lisa-Mbali’s parents contacted the Times they came to an agreement with the school which will see her trialling lunches specifically catered to her needs until half-term.

Ms Wolhuter added: “I’m not happy with the agreement but I did it to keep to peace.

“It would be easier and cheaper for them if they just allow my child to bring in her own lunch rather than spend more to provide her with organic food, which we prefer to feed her.”