Marcus Rashford slams Welsh school for dinner debt ban

Marcus Rashford slams Welsh school for dinner debt ban
Marcus Rashford slams Welsh school for dinner debt ban

Marcus Rashford has had his say about the Welsh school which plans not to feed children if they are over a penny in debt.

The Manchester United and England star, who successfully campaigned to secure free meals for vulnerable children during the coronavirus pandemic, expressed his disappointment at the move.

Rashford, recently awarded an MBE for his campaign work, took to Twitter after Neil Foden, the strategic head of Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle in Penygroes, Gwynedd, warned parents about the plan.

Rashford said: 'Has the pandemic not taught us anything? Can we not be understanding? Come on now.'

He added: 'For many children, lunch at school is the only meal they'll get.'

Manchester United striker has condemned a Welsh school who has vowed to ban children from lunch if they run up a debt as little as one penny

Manchester United striker has condemned a Welsh school who has vowed to ban children from lunch if they run up a debt as little as one penny

Neil Foden, the strategic head of Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle in Penygroes, Gwynedd, warned parents about the plan

Neil Foden, the strategic head of Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle in Penygroes, Gwynedd, warned parents about the plan

Rashford was awarded an MBE by Prince William on Tuesday at Windsor Castle for his work on school dinners

Rashford was awarded an MBE by Prince William on Tuesday at Windsor Castle for his work on school dinners

Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle in Penygroes, Gwynedd, pictured, has given families a deadline of November 19 to settle their accounts or their children will no longer be fed

Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle in Penygroes, Gwynedd, pictured, has given families a deadline of November 19 to settle their accounts or their children will no longer be fed

A letter to parents said the school cook had been instructed not to give food to any child 'if their debt has not been cleared, or, in the future, to children whose accounts do not have enough money to pay for lunch'.

A deadline of November 19 has been set for parents to get their children's accounts up to date - as there was a deficit in the school meals budget at the end of the last half term.

Mr Foden said a 'handful of pupils' had run up debts totalling close to £2,000, and explained the stance further in an interview with the BBC on Thursday.

While there has been some sympathy for the letter from some people, most of those who contacted local media condemned the move. 

Anwen Jones wrote on Facebook: 'This sounds like something out of Oliver Twist, it's so Dickensian.

'I'm a former teacher and I used to see children coming into school genuinely hungry all the time, no child should ever be punished like this and how humiliating for them if the cook had to say no to them, it's also putting the cooks in a horrible position.'

Another mother said on Facebook: 'Shocking. I was £6 in debt and only realised yesterday. I completely forgot as I've been so busy with opening a new shop, running a business and caring for 4 children it slipped my mind. Not once did the school my children attend message or phoned me. They understand parents are busy and this can happen sometimes. Glad my children don't have a head teacher like this.'

Rashford, left, attended the ceremony in Windsor Castle along with his mother Melanie, right

Rashford, left, attended the ceremony in Windsor Castle along with his mother Melanie, right

The school has warned parents that the cook has been instructed not to supply food to any children who are unable to pay for their lunch

The school has warned parents that the cook has been instructed not to supply food to any children who are unable to pay for their lunch

Rashford's campaign forced Boris Johnson's government into a u-turn over the issue of supplying food to children on free school meals over the holiday period

Rashford's campaign forced Boris Johnson's government into a u-turn over the issue of supplying food to children on free school meals over the holiday period

Beth Jones said: 'Why take it out on the kids and let them go hungry when it's the fault of their parents? How is a child supposed to concentrate when they are hungry?'

Lauren Cleary said: 'Even if the parents are spending all of their income on TVs and cigarettes (like the mainstream media would love you to believe), it's still never ever the child's fault. Shameful - where's his duty of care?'

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