Head apologises after children made to eat packed lunches outside in the cold

Northgate Primary School at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The head teacher of Northgate Primary School has apologised to parents who complained about the school's Covid risk assessment. - Credit: Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Copyright: Archant 2021

A headteacher has apologised to parents after their children were made to eat packed lunches outside in an effort to be more Covid safe.

Parents of pupils at Northgate Primary School in Great Yarmouth complained that their children were coming home with half-eaten lunches and said it was because they were being made to eat outside in the cold.

On Friday, headteacher Michael Collins reversed the school's policy over packed lunches and said he understood parents' concerns over the issue.

The school's Covid-19 risk assessment - which was made in September - stated: "packed lunches outside - or in class in case of wet weather".

Michael Collins, head of Northgate Primary School, said: "Our risk assessment stated [pupils] eat outside packed lunches because we are limited for space.

"We don't have enough space to keep it safe for the children.

"We've been eating outside all last year. We have nice covered areas here.

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"Prior to Covid, all the children ate outside as well all through the year because of limited space in our school."

Mr Collins said if the weather was particularly cold or if it was raining, then pupils would eat packed lunches inside.

The new building at Northgate Primary School which has six classrooms, a library, a small drama hall

As of Friday, Northgate Primary's Covid risk assessment was changed and all pupils will eat their lunches indoors. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

But following complaints from concerned parents, Northgate's risk assessment has been changed.

Mr Collins said: "Lunches will now be eaten inside. We've made some changes and we do apologise.

"I completely understand the parents' concern. It's not the ideal situation, but we are not living in an ideal situation unfortunately.

"If it's caused some issues, we were just following what we did last year during Covid times.

"We are trying our best to keep the children and the staff as safe as possible.

"And it seemed to work last year and that was why we tried to maintain that this year."

Before the changes to the school's Covid policy, Craig Fisher, a parent to a pupil at the school, said: "My son said he hasn't been eating his lunches because he's been too cold.

"It's bad that if you want to pay for a school meal, you can sit in the warm. If you bring your own lunch to school, you have to sit outside."

Craig Fisher

Craig Fisher's son hadn't been eating his packed lunches, because he was too cold. - Credit: Supplied