Are secondary school lunches the worst?

Please Sir, can I have some more?

Not a question you’ll be asking about lunch in secondary schools, but we hope this week’s blog will leave you wanting more! Our two main topics – home/school communications & school lunches – reveal intriguing data that we’d love to know more about.

Also in the blog… positive thoughts, the National Tutoring Programme and Easter.

School lunch vs packed lunch

Before we begin talking about school lunches, there is one important factor we need to remember… the youngest school children (age 4-7) receive their school lunch for free. So, whilst two-thirds of 4–7-year-olds have school lunch, this drops to only one-third for children aged over 7.

Most of you report that packed lunches are the cheaper option for your family (after we’ve removed the ones who get the free meals, of course) especially those with secondary-aged kids.

But, which option you consider healthier depends a lot on whether your child is in primary school or secondary. 60% of parents with primary-aged kids (infants included this time) say that the lunch provided by school is healthier than packed lunch. These results are almost exactly reversed for secondary-school kids! 

Does this mean that secondary school lunches are worse than primary? Not necessarily, plenty of Pingers with older kids got in touch to tell us how their school may offer healthy choices, but this doesn’t mean their child choses them! Let us know what you think.

Who you gonna call?

Who you gonna email?

Last week we reported that lots of you would like more communication from schools, so this week we tried to unpick exactly what this might look like. And the findings are, er, inconclusive! There was no clear majority for any of the usual types of communication, and none of our options had more than half of you in favour (even when we separate out primary and secondary schools). 

So where does that leave us? Perhaps schools and parents need to be more creative in how they communicate? Or perhaps they need to make more use of existing communications channels and make sure they contain the most useful information? Answers in a postcard report, please!

While we were asking about these big communication issues, we also checked how you prefer to receive short pieces of information from school.

Physical letters are out of fashion, with only 1% of you saying you like to receive a letter in the post from school, and only 4% liking letters sent home with your child. Email was the preferred medium for all, with dads having a particular penchant for app-based messages. Which leaves us wondering… who has a school app on their phone? One to investigate next week!

Positive thinking

Last week we reported on how some of you think that lockdown will positively affect your children’s future, and this week we were prompted by a Pinger to ask how it had affected your relationship with your children and again we saw plenty of positivity. Over half of you said lockdown had a positive effect, and 17% of you with older children even said it had been ‘very positive.’ Something to bear in mind as talk of “catch up” continues.

And also...

Coming up next week

Next week we have questions on the future of education and on how your parents affected your approach to parenting. If there are other topics you’d like to see covered, let us know! Don’t miss a question… Download the app and set your notifications to PING every day!

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