Thursday, March 28, 2024

Alwyn Poole: School Lunches: The $324million question (or ten questions)?

1. Why are some children in NZ going hungry in 2024?

2. What is it about our welfare system that needs to be fixed to ensure every child receives breakfast, lunch and dinner via their parents or caregivers?

3. Prof Boyd Swinburne stated this week that the school lunches have improved school attendance by 3 days a year (.75 days per term, 0.075 days per week) and had shown some mental health improvements. Is the $324m on food the best way to do that? How about the mental health gains from actually doing well at school – not just eating a sandwich?

4. How many children are taking time out of class to help organise/prepare lunches and how many teachers are involved in those activities?

5. Why can't parents opt out and send their choice of lunches with their child?

6. Some children burn a lot more energy than others at school through their level of activity and engagement. What is the response if they say: “Please sir, can I have some more?”

7. Did taxpayers know that they were also feeding people at caravan parks and supplying foodbanks through school lunches?

8. Why are so many of the programmes so inflexible that they do not supply lunches each day on the number of children present but the number enrolled (in our system that only has 50% full attendance)?

9. What education improvement plans are being put in place to make sure that the children being fed today are able to feed themselves and their children in the future? Where is the 15 year sinking lid plan?

10. As the teacher unions like to state – no one is supposed to make a profit from education”. Then why do I see Subway vans charging around like this?

Alwyn Poole, a well-known figure in the New Zealand education system, he founded and was the head of Mt Hobson Middle School in Auckland for 18 years. Alwyn blogs at Education plus ... Challenging Mediocrity. - where this article was sourced.


Robert Arthur said...

From groups I see in PakNSave, as the cheapest outlet presumably supported by the poorest, I would be curious of any BMI study of lunch recipients/claimants. With Covid and colds rife in schools many parents are wary of the large extent of hand involvemnt in school lunches but the free meal is an expensive gift to ignore, and awkward fro the pupil. Does anyone really know the spending patterns of families claiming poverty. I bet I could reduce most weekly spends.

Anonymous said...

We already supply school lunches through Child Support payments.
Stop using it to feed the dog, or getting another tattoo - buy a loaf of bread, butter, luncheon sausage, lettuce etc and send your kids off to school with an inexpensive lunch that they will eat.
It's simple - they are your kids - the State is not responsible for them - you are !
Full stop.