Schools should not charge for hot water, and should definitely not segregate pupils whose parents were unable to pay for their school meals.
By law, local authorities are required to provide facilities for pupils who bring their own lunch and/or drink at maintained schools, however it is ultimately for schools to set their own packed lunch policies. Schools are expected to be reasonable in the policies that they choose to adopt and the department expects schools to consider pupils’ medical, dietary and cultural needs accordingly.
Schools are obliged to provide meals where a child is eligible for free school meals (FSM). Where a child is not eligible for FSM, parents are expected to cover the cost of any meal.