Apology after primary school pupils left without a hot meal as region hit by freezing weather

Education bosses have apologised for pupils not being able to have a hot meal at school as freezing weather gripped the region.

It comes after several parents from Toner Avenue Primary School in Hebburn contacted the Gazette to complain that their children did not receive a hot meal at lunch time following heating problems at the school.

However, the gas supply to the kitchen did not come on until 10.45am meaning the school was left with the only option of providing a cold lunch for pupils before lunch began at 11.30am.

Toner Avenue Primary School.

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“As a result we couldn’t do hot meals but we were able to give the children warm sausage rolls.”

Mr Arthur praised the efforts of the catering team despite the challenges they were faced with by the heating problems of the morning.

He said: “It was a good effort by the team to get the children fed.”

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The heating problems came as the North East battled cold temperatures which left many parts of the region with snow.

The Met Office had issued a yellow warning of snow and heavy rain on Monday which came on the first day back to school following the half term holiday.

South Tyneside Council apologised for the inconvenience, but confirmed that there was no statutory obligation to provide hot food.

A spokeswoman for South Tyneside Council said: “Whilst the heating to the main school was reinstated earlier in the morning, the supply to the kitchen did not come on until 10.45am.

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“With 245 dinners to prepare before service began at 11.30am a cold lunch was the only solution.

“We apologise for any inconvenience but are sure that people can understand given the time constraints that a cold lunch was the only way forward on this occasion.”