If your child takes a packed lunch to school, you might think of it as an affordable alternative to school dinners.
But how would you feel if your child's school started CHARGING you for allowing your child to bring a packed lunch to school?
That's exactly what some schools do, according to an article in the Independent.
The paper reports:
"Parents are being forced to pay up to £1.80 a day for their children to eat their own packed lunches at state schools. An investigation by teachers' union NASUWT found schools were charging parents to cover the cost of cleaning and supervising lunch areas as their budgets became increasingly squeezed."
The measure is thought to be driven by financial restraints and designed to help cover the costs of cleaning and supervising the areas where children eat packed lunches.
My children's school no longer allows items of rubbish from packed lunches to be disposed of in school, which means lunch boxes come home in a completely disgusting state once an almost-empty yoghurt pot has rattled around with scrunched-up clingfilm and uneaten sandwich crusts all afternoon. It's truly grim but I understand it's to do with charges that the council applies to the school for removing waste.
I've got round it by ditching yoghurt pots and settling for yoghurt tubes instead but I'd be less than thrilled if I had to also pay for the privilege of sending a packed lunch to school with my kids. They barely even eat any of it anyway - could I get a discount for half-eaten sarnies?
We'd love to hear your views on this story. Does your child's school charge a fee for bringing a packed lunch and if so, how do you feel about it? If not, would you be concerned if packed lunch fees were introduced? Leave us a comment below or come and join the debate over on our Facebook page.