'Who will run free breakfasts?'

Last updated 05:00 29/05/2013

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Free breakfast at school is a good idea in theory, but teachers have enough to do without waiting on pupils, Christchurch principals say.

Aranui School principal Mike Allen backed the move, but said the "devil is in the detail".

He wanted to know who would be managing and running the programme in each school, saying it would be unfair to expect teachers to take on more work.

"Teachers should be teachers. The more we do the social things, the less we do the educational things."

He also asked how children with food allergies or special dietary needs would be looked after, where schools without a hall or cafeteria would be expected to feed children and whether schools needed to meet specific health regulations to provide meals on-site.

Northcote School principal Neil Baker said a local church group provided a similar breakfast programme at the decile 2 school for several years, but stopped when they felt it was no longer necessary.

"They felt some kids were coming along for a second feed or some kids were choosing not to have breakfast so they could have it at school."

Bamford School principal Colin Hammond said the scheme would benefit all low-decile schools, but the "first priority" should be for parents to feed their children.

"We have to really look at what's happening in society for why schools are providing breakfast for our children."

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