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Fears for kosher kids raised over school lunch plan

    The government says packed lunches will not be banned under its scheme
    The government says packed lunches will not be banned under its scheme

    Concerns over the provision of kosher lunches for school pupils have been dismissed by the Department for Education.

    The Board of Deputies said Jewish pupils at schools without kosher catering must be allowed to continue to take packed lunches.

    Board senior vice-president Laura Marks raised the issue after Education Secretary Michael Gove published details of a “plan of action” aimed at improving school food.

    A possible ban on packed lunches was listed among the ideas, but the JC understands no blanket ban will be enforced. Prohibiting pupils from bringing in their own food could have led to difficulties for Jewish children with kosher diets.

    DfE sources said that while some schools have already adopted a ban on packed lunches, exceptions were regularly put in place for children with special dietary requirements.

    Ms Marks said: “The Board obviously supports the government initiative. In some cases, however, Jewish children will still need to bring a packed lunch to school where there is no kosher provision.”

    A DfE spokesman said: “Banning packed lunches is a decision for headteachers. We trust them to make the right decisions for their schools.”

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