PARENTS

Boy Suspended From School For FOUR DAYS - For Having Mini Cheddars In His Lunchbox

14/08/2014 16:57 | Updated 20 May 2015

McVities Mini Cheddars

A six-year-old boy has been suspended from school for taking a packet of Mini Cheddars in his lunch box.

Riley Pearson was given the four day ban for not having a 'healthy and balanced' packed lunch.

Mum Nicola Mardle, 24, said:

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I would understand the exclusion if he was throwing tables around or bullying other children, but it is just ridiculous for a packet of Mini Cheddars.

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She said Riley usually takes a sandwich, fromage frais, Dairylea Dunkers and the offending cheese flavoured crackers.

Head Jeremy Meek said if the food policy at Colnbrook C of E Primary School near Slough, Berkshire, is not adhered to it 'potentially harms' the child.

The school, which was placed in special measures after Ofsted inspectors deemed it 'inadequate' in 2012, introduced a healthy eating policy at the start of term.

A letter was sent to parents saying that from 14 January, packed lunches should be 'healthy and balanced'.

Parents were told: "Chocolate, sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks are not allowed. If your child's lunchbox is unhealthy and unbalanced they will be provided with a school lunch for which you will be charged."

Riley's parents, Ms Mardle and Tom Pearson, were told in a letter that he was being excluded for four days, while a permanent exclusion was considered.

It said that a continued lack of parental support for school policy had 'led to Riley being put in a situation where he is continuously breaking school rules regarding healthy eating'.

However, his parents are angry at the school's stance.

Ms Mardle said: "We just do not see how they have the right to tell us what we can feed our son.

"If anything, Riley is underweight and could do with putting on a few pounds.

"Having a balanced diet also includes eating some carbohydrates, sugars and fats.

"It is not about excluding some foods; it is about getting the mix right."

Headteacher Jeremy Meek said the school had one family who 'do not agree with the policy'.

He said: "We have had a wonderful response and the parents and children are on board and pleased with the way the policy has been impacted on our pupils.

"We cannot talk about individual circumstances but there is one family who are not prepared to support the policy.

"We are in discussions with them about how we move it forward. We have excluded (the pupil) for four days due to lack of support for the policy.

"It is to avoid putting the children in a difficult situation. If the policy is not being abided by then that potentially harms that pupil."

Update Feb 5: Read the latest in this sorry saga - exclusion - and the head teacher's point of view here.

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