Boy, six, suspended from school for four days after he was found to have a packet of Mini Cheddars in his lunchbox
- Riley Pearson was banned for four days after breaking school lunch policy
- His parents, Natalie Mardle and Tom Pearson, called in to see school head
- Colnbrook C of E Primary School introduced healthy eating rule this term
- Parents were told ‘chocolate, sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks’ were banned
- Mother says: ‘They don’t have right to tells us what we can feed our son’
Schoolboy Riley Pearson, six, has been suspended for four days for breaking school rules by having Mini Cheddars in his packed lunch
A six-year-old boy who went to school with a bag of Mini Cheddars in his packed lunch has been suspended for four days after teachers said it contravened its healthy eating policy.
Riley Pearson, from Colnbrook, near Slough, was excluded from Colnbrook C of E Primary School after teachers discovered the snack and called in his parents.
After a meeting with headmaster Jeremy Meek, they were sent a letter telling them Riley would be excluded from Wednesday until Monday because he had been ‘continuously breaking school rules’.
The school, which was placed in special measures after Ofsted inspectors deemed it ‘inadequate’ in 2012, introduced a healthy eating policy at the start of term.
A letter was sent to parents saying that from 14 January, packed lunches should be ‘healthy and balanced’.
Parents were told: ‘Chocolate, sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks are not allowed.
‘If your child’s lunchbox is unhealthy and unbalanced they will be provided with a school lunch for which you will be charged.’
Today Riley’s mother, airport shuttle worker Natalie Mardle, 24, said: ‘We just do not see how they have the right to tell us what we can feed our son.
‘If anything, Riley is underweight and could do with putting on a few pounds.’
Miss Mardle, who is expecting her fourth child, added: ‘Having a balanced diet also includes eating some carbohydrates, sugars and fats.
‘It is not about excluding some foods, it is about getting the mix right.’
Riley’s lunchbox usually contains a sandwich, yoghurt tube, Dairylea Dunkers cheese spread snack, and a packet of Mini Cheddars, with water to drink.
His mother, who lives with his father, airport worker Tom Pearson, said the 3ft 9ins tall schoolboy who weighs 3st 2lbs, eats home-cooked meals and plenty of fruit and vegetables at home.
Miss Mardle said: ‘I would understand the exclusion if he was constantly throwing tables around or bullying other children, but it is just ridiculous for a packet of Mini Cheddars.
‘Not balanced’: Riley’s lunchbox fell foul of the new health eating policy at Colnbrook C of E primary school
Letter to parents: Riley’s parents were sent a letter outlining the reasons for his exclusion by the head, Mr Meek
‘Surely the headteacher has better things to do with his time than search lunchboxes?’
Riley’s parents, who both work at nearby Heathrow Airport, will be attending a meeting with the head on Tuesday to learn whether their son can return to the 290-pupil school.
Headteacher Mr Meek said the school had one family who ‘do not agree with the policy.’
He said: ‘We have had a wonderful response and the parents and children are on board and pleased with the way the policy has been impacted on our pupils.
The boy was suspended from Colnbrook C of E Primary School, pictured, for bringing in the snack
‘We cannot talk about individual circumstances, but there is one family who are not prepared to support the policy.
‘We are in discussions with them about how we move it forward. We have excluded [the pupil] for four days due to lack of support for the policy.
‘It is to avoid putting the children in a difficult situation. If the policy is not being abided by, then that potentially harms that pupil.’