Christmas dinner is saved by Times

Celebrating after winning the battle for a Christmas school dinner are back l-r parents Wayne and Jodi Hartill, Nathan Hartill, one, and Jordan Philpot, ten. Front l-r are Mason Sables, six, sister Madison Philpot, eight, and Tyler Wiglet, nine.  Picture: Liz Mockler S1392M
Celebrating after winning the battle for a Christmas school dinner are back l-r parents Wayne and Jodi Hartill, Nathan Hartill, one, and Jordan Philpot, ten. Front l-r are Mason Sables, six, sister Madison Philpot, eight, and Tyler Wiglet, nine. Picture: Liz Mockler S1392M
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IT’S Christmas dinners all round for these Denaby youngsters - thanks to intervention from the Times.

A mum of one of the youngsters at Balby Street Primary was stunned when she was told that kids who take packed lunches to school were to miss out on a festive lunch this year.

Jodi Hartill, of Woodlands Way, said: “When I heard that pupils who usually have sandwiches, like mine, weren’t to be allowed to have a Christmas dinner at school I was really upset.

“They’ve always been able to join in before and it’s a big part of the Christmas celebrations with the parties at the end of term for them.

“I heard about this from my brother-in-law who had asked about it and wasn’t happy himself. I got straight on to the phone to school and was told the policy had changed and the sandwich pupils’ tables would be trimmed up but they couldn’t have the dinners.

“Loads of pupils are on sandwiches and all the parents were annoyed.”

But disappointment turned to elation for Jodi’s young family and their friends, after the Times contacted the Conisbrough school about the issue.

Headteacher Michelle Walton rang to say that the decision about Christmas meals had been reviewed - and sandwich pupils would be allowed to join the others to enjoy their dinners together after all.

Jodi said she was thrilled that all the youngsters could now enjoy their Christmas dinner together.

She said: “I’m glad I made a stand and I’m grateful to the South Yorkshire Times for the help - it made all the difference. It’s a happy outcome for everyone and the kids are really happy.”

In true Christmas spirit the head said: “I have sent a letter out to parents to let them know we have reviewed the arrangements for this year as regards sandwich children having a school meal. The system changed last September but it will now be reviewed fully.”