A furious parent has hauled his two children out of school after dinner ladies refused his son lunch because of a £1.75 debt.
Gary Lynn, who also quit as governor of Hayes Primary School in Paignton, Devon, told the BBC that the situation was reminiscent of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, accusing the school of "physical and emotional neglect" of his 10-year-old son.
The school said its kitchen staff were "abiding by the rules".
"They normally phone parents to let them know that their account doesn't have any money, and that their child won't get a lunch that day unless the account is credited," the school said in an investigation into the incident.
Lynn said his son "burst into tears" when he was told he wouldn't be allowed a meal. One of the assistants eventually brought him an apple "because she felt sorry for him".
It is not the first time a school has taken a tough line with children whose parents have not paid for lunch. In March last year, the Sun reported that six-year-old Hannah Lebby was given a slice of bread and jam because of £4 owed to the school that her mother Hazel forgot to pay, after a car breakdown that morning.
St Thomas’s School in Mitcham, south London said it needed to take drastic action after parents racked up £1,730 in unpaid dinner meals last year.