Schools make their students eat lunch outdoors in the freezing cold to stop spread of Covid, sparking anger from parents

  • Parents label Bulwell Academy as ‘disgusting’ for making their children eat outside. 
  • Nottingham school says anti-Covid measure makes it easier for pupils to get along
  • One parent claimed the benches were dirty, while another said that her child was ‘wet through.
  • For students to be able to go to the bathroom, they had to get a note from a doctor. School was once called an “armycamp”. 

After their children were asked outside to have their lunch, furious parents labelled the school as ‘disgusting. This was in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

Bulwell Academy, Nottingham stated that the initiative is part of their anti-Covid strategy. It is meant to increase space among pupils and reduce the chance of transmission. 

Parents claim that there is not enough seating for everyone and the benches are soggy. They insist on using indoor classrooms.  

Reacting to these complaints, the academy stated that students in Years 7-8 ‘prefer to be outside’ and that the school had an indoor dining hall for them if they needed to eat inside. 

This comes just a few years after the Academy, once called an “army camp”, was criticized for asking students to show a doctor’s certificate if they needed to use the bathroom during lessons.   

Unnamed parent said that it was freezing outside and the children were eating lunch outdoors.

Bulwell Academy in Nottingham (pictured) said the measure is part of its anti-Covid strategy and is designed to create more space between pupils and therefore lower the risk of virus transmission

Bulwell Academy (pictured in Nottingham) stated that this measure was part of an anti-Covid strategy. The move is intended to provide more space between students and lower the risk for virus transmission.

“It is absolutely disgusting that there aren’t enough seats.

“I tried to speak with the school… At the very least, they should have somewhere to eat and sit down. I was so frustrated.’

A second parent also spoke out, but he did not want to be identified. He said that the school should do more.

She stated, “I am not happy at all. Yesterday my daughter came in wet.”

“They should do something because they’re all outside.”

“There are benches, but they’re waterlogged through. I’m sorry for them. They won’t have any heat if they are outside for lunch.

“The school needs to make it possible for students to have lunch at different times and to ensure they get a good meal. It is very bad.  

Bulwell Academy spokeswoman said that outdoor space is better than being crowded with students.

“The majority of Year 7 and 8 prefer to be outdoors with staff monitoring their wellbeing. 

“But we have now opened the hall for Year 8s, in case anyone would prefer to be inside.

If there is any concern, parents are encouraged to reach out to the Academy. 

Mail Online reached out to Bulwell Academy in order for comments. 

A Bulwell Academy spokesperson said: 'Measures to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading include using outdoor space during breaks and lunchtime, rather than having hundreds of students in a confined area'. (file photo)

Bulwell Academy spokesperson stated that “Measures can be taken to decrease the risk of coronavirus spread include using outside space during breaks or lunchtimes, instead of having hundreds of students living in one area.” (file photo)

Brad Nash, the headteacher of the school in September, defended a policy that required pupils to present a physician’s note for permission to use the bathroom during lessons. 

One parent, whose daughter was given a dispensation pass on the back of a doctor’s letter, said the education centre was like a ‘military academy’, while another said she had to pay £30 for a note from her GP so her daughter could have a toilet pass while on her period. 

Mr Nash said: ‘A new behaviour strategy, aiming for 100 per cent disruption-free lessons, was introduced to the Bulwell Academy in January 2021 and has been communicated regularly to students and carers.

“Our classrooms are now a focus place for teaching and learning, with improved academic outcomes for students.

“Students feel more comfortable and confident between and in lessons.”

We encourage our students to go to the restroom during breaks or lunch, but we also understand that sometimes they will have to miss lessons.

“For this reason, the new behavior strategy required medical exemption letters in order to provide support for those who require it.

‘We are aware of GPs charging £30 for a medical exemption letter. This is not a common charge that GPs levy. 

‘The Academy has contacted a GP to dispute the charge.

“We expect a response from the GP and will assure that, if they refuse to rescind their charges, we will reimburse them the money.”