“My son left without his lunch because I owed £4.05 on the school meals account”

Bramhall High School, which is in Stockport, Greater Manchester, said it followed its policy, but the boy’s mother said it left her son “humiliated”.

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A mother is furious that her son left “without his lunch” because he was in debt on his school catering account.

The parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, said his son was “humiliated” at Bramhall High School in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

Staff refused to serve him a plate of pasta after his account, used to help low-income families with subsidized meals, was £4.05 in debt.

The school, which has more than 1,000 students, said it followed its policy.

The mother told Manchester Evening News: “At lunchtime he went to the till, he had chosen his pasta and put it on the tray.

The boy was refused lunch at Bramhall High School in Stockport, Greater Manchester

“She then said ‘you’re in debt’, then left to tell someone else what to do, then came back and said no to the food because he hadn’t paid.

“I was just appalled. It really upset me and I couldn’t believe no one called me or asked if I was in difficulty – what if I was in financial difficulty, would have been denied again?”

The boy was offered a sandwich but, as he doesn’t eat butter, he refused.

And her mum, from Stockport, wonders if the situation has “happened a lot” with other pupils.

She continued: “My question is, even without Covid, do they give the food to someone else, or do they just throw it away?

“If they give it away, especially with Covid, there’s cross-contamination, or they’re deliberately not feeding a child. Was that an oversight?

“What if I had more, would my child go without food for another day? I couldn’t believe it.”

Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford has campaigned to end child food poverty

England footballer Marcus Rashford, 24, championed a campaign for free school meals for children during school holidays last year and has since been awarded an MBE for his work tackling child poverty.

The striker, who grew up in Greater Manchester himself, forced Boris Johnson to turn around to provide free meals for vulnerable children.

But the schoolboy’s mum feels her work has been in vain.

“I find this shocking, especially since Marcus Rashford has done so much to make sure children don’t starve themselves,” she added.

“What if he was £30 in debt? I worry what will happen to parents who are in financial difficulty and cannot claim school meals.”

Bramhall High School, which Ofsted deemed “needs improvement” after its last inspection, is in a suburb south of Stockport popular with young families.

A school representative said: “The school has a policy in place when an account is overdue.

“As the parent said, on this occasion a sandwich was offered as an alternative, in line with our policy, and it was declined.”

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