A school fed a six-year-old girl bread and jam for lunch because her mother had not paid a £4 debt, it has been reported.
Primary school pupil Hannah Lebby was told she could not have hot dinners for two days due to her mother owing the school money. When Hannah's mother Hazel eventually found out, she threatened to remove her daughter from the Surrey school.
According to Hazel, her car broke down on Monday and she had a leak on Tuesday, so forgot to pay her arrears to St Thomas of Canterbury Primary.
The 37-year-old says no-one attempted to phone her, although the Catholic school in Mitcham, Surrey, did send a text telling her of the debts and saying Hannah "may not" be given a hot dinner, the Wimbledon Guardian reported.
"I feel if they can make a child feel like that then I really don't want her to go there at all," Hazel told the local paper. "I would never in a million years think they would refuse a child dinner because I’m a couple of days late."
But the school's headteacher David Feasy defended the action saying the responsibility to make sure children are fed lies with the parents, not the school.
"It’s a service we provide but it has to be paid for. Sometimes people experience difficulties and we can work around that," he said.
The mixed school, which has nearly 600 pupils, received a "good" rating in its most recent Ofsted inspection report and was described by the inspector as a "caring" school.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more