30/03/2012 08:21 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Six-Year-Old Girl Given Bread And Jam For School Lunch Because Mum Owed £4

Hannah Lebby given bread and jam for school lunch with mum Hazel Lebby Cascade News/Rex

A little girl of six was given bread and jam instead of a hot school dinner for two days running because her mum had fallen into dinner money arrears of £4.

Furious Hazel Lebby, 37, says the school did not bother to phone her to tell her she owed the cash, but instead denied her daughter Hannah a hot meal.

Hazel says she only found out when Hannah told her about the bread and jam.

The outraged mum is now threatening to remove the little girl from St Thomas's School in Mitcham, south London.

The school said it needed to take action after mums and dads saddled them with a bill of £1730 in unpaid school fees.

Hazel said she was going to pay Hannah's dinner money at the start of the week, but forgot after her car broke down. She told Cascade News:

"I was supposed to pay it on Monday but my car broke down so I totally forgot about having to sort it out.

"Then the next morning I woke up with a leak. My carpet was soaking wet. I managed to get Hannah to school on time but had to come back home and sort out the leak.

"I would never in a million years think they would refuse a child dinner because I'm a couple of days late."

Ironically, Hazel works for the catering company that provides the school's dinners at another school.

She later received a text message from the school to say there "may not" be a school lunch for her child that day because she was £4 in arrears.

Ms Lebby has now made an official complaint to Merton Council and says she may remove her daughter from the school because 'if they can make a child feel like that then I really don't want her to go there at all. You don't take it out on a child.'

St Thomas's head teacher David Feasey said: "We are liable for those arrears so if parents don't pay we have to foot the bill which takes money away from resources we could be spending on the children. Sometimes people experience difficulties and we can work around that."

He said he would 'look into' how the text messages were worded in future to make it clear to mums and dads whether their children would be given a lunch, but added: "It's a parent's responsibility to make sure their child is fed, not the schools. It's a service we provide but it has to be paid for."

What do you think? Would you be furious like this mum or do you agree with the headmaster?

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