Would you be happy if your child was served this school Christmas dinner?
- Credit: Contributed
Some parents have said they wouldn't give a Suffolk school's Christmas dinner to their dog after photographs were shared on social media.
A Facebook post with an image of a boxed festive lunch at Sybil Andrews Academy in Bury St Edmunds attracted more than 200 comments.
But the secondary school, on Moreton Hall, said a huge majority of students and staff enjoyed the meal and the school and catering team at Vertas worked "exceptionally hard" to provide more than 450 Christmas dinners – especially within Covid-19 restrictions.
Comments on the Facebook post said it looked "disgusting" while others mistook the turkey for a napkin.
But some people felt the picture wasn't a fair representation of the food - while others disagreed and shared their own images.
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One parent, who posted a picture of their child's Sybil Andrews Academy Christmas dinner, said: "I couldn't keep quiet any more.
"I try, but I can't let people say your photo is wrong when both my girls were horrified by this excuse for a Christmas dinner.
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"Where is the love. Where is the care? Where is the excitement of Christmas dinner? This was absolutely appalling and not even enough to get you through the day."
Commenting on someone else's photo that was similar to theirs, they said: "I wouldn't give that to my dog."
Another parent said their child enjoyed their lunch, which included sprouts, gravy and cranberry sauce.
Nick Froy, executive headteacher at Sybil Andrews Academy, said the school had been heartened by the positive messages they had received from parents in the last few days.
He added: “We are sorry that the meal did not meet the expectations of a handful of students and families.”
Vertas wanted to thank its colleagues "who are working in exceptional conditions to keep pupils, school staff and themselves safe and well".
Karen Burrowes, associate director for operations, said: “With school bubbles having to self-isolate at very short notice, and entire year groups being sent home, ordering fresh produce to avoid food wastage has been a huge challenge, and particularly for a Christmas meal.
"Our aim throughout has been to offer a hot Christmas lunch to help provide a festive end to a difficult year for pupils with changing guidelines throughout."
She said from March onwards they have been using disposable cartons as the safest way to get the food out quickly to multiple serving points around schools, while retaining sufficient heat to keep the food safe.
“These isolated photos don’t reflect the experience of the majority and we were heartened by the kind comments from the academy’s executive headteacher Mr Froy that the vast majority of pupils and staff were very happy with the efforts that our colleagues had gone to,” she added.