Whether breakfast should be provided at school is a tricky question.
Particularly when the breakfasts aren't for all children, as the Government now seems willing to consider in the case of low decile schools.
Families in these areas already get much in the way of state assistance compared to others.
A number will be on benefits, some will receive accommodation allowances, and some will get Working for Families tax credits.
Which is all fair enough. Such is the welfare state in which we live.
But welfare is supposed to be a safety net, not a lifestyle, and providing breakfast should be the responsibility of parents, not the state.
Yet children are turning up hungry, and that's not their fault.
It seems unfair then for other taxpayers to feed them, and unfair also not to feed them. It's their learning at stake, and that's important to us all.
You could bring in another level of bureaucracy, and ask the question: "So, you aren't feeding your own children in the morning, why not?"
And if there simply isn't enough money in the house, make a concession.
Or, just get on with it and feed children from low decile schools, knowing it legitimises bad parenting.
Not easy at all.
The best option would be to start feeding the children, and then invite the parents along to find out what's really going on at home.
Which isn't the role of schools. But then, neither is supplying milk and toast.
Roly Crichton has let down the Timaru District Council.
To say you are going to front for a key position and then not do so, and to offer no reasonable explanation either, is poor form.
If one of his criteria for taking the job was that his star charge, 10-time paralympic medal winner Sophie Pascoe, also agree to shift to Timaru, then he should have made that clear at the time.
Fortunately professional coach Clive Power has filled the gap, but now the council has to start the appointment process again. This is an important position, and given the facility Timaru now has, this is the time to build our reputation for producing top swimmers.
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