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Pupils forced to eat packed lunches in toilets as dining hall too small

Mirror logo Mirror 13/3/2019 Andy Crick & Laura Forsyth
a small house in front of a building: When Holbrook Academy, near Ipswich, Suffolk was built in the 1930s © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited When Holbrook Academy, near Ipswich, Suffolk was built in the 1930s

Students are being forced to eat their packed lunches in the school's toilets because the dining hall is too small.

Other pupils at Holbrook Academy, near Ipswich, have been having their food in the corridors due to lack of space.

A secondary headteacher made the shock revelations about the Suffolk school as student numbers are set to rise.

Read more: Hundreds of nurseries could close next year without government funding, MP warns (Indy 100)

Currently there are already 560 kids at Holbrook Academy, near Ipswich.

When it was built in the 1930s it was only designed for 380 but staff are expecting 590 pupils in September.

The school is set to spend £32,000 on a covered outside picnic area for pupils to have their lunch to solve the problem, with work to begin next month.

But in the meantime, some pupils are having to make do.

a little boy that is eating some food: Students were forced to eat their packed lunches in the school's toilets (stock image) © Getty Images Students were forced to eat their packed lunches in the school's toilets (stock image)

Head Dr Simon Letman - giving a talk to local councillors - said: "At the present time, space for eating is the main and urgent issue.

"The main hall does not have the capacity to cope with hot meal consumers and packed lunch students at the same time.

"In fact, it struggles to cope with just the former.

"As a result, students eat takeaway hot lunches or their own cold packed lunches in corridors, outside on benches, sitting on the grass.

Watch: 'I'm concerned we won't be able to meet the needs of the children anymore,' says Derbyshire school headteacher (The Independent)

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"It is even the case that some students eat their lunch in the toilets, such is the shortage of space when the weather outside is wet and windy.

"Most form rooms are available to students during lunchtime, but these are full too, with resultant mess in rooms and corridors.

"This situation isn't much better when the main field is open in the better weather as eating there is banned."

a group of people standing in a room: Other pupils at were discovered having their food in the corridors (stock image) © Holbrook Academy Other pupils at were discovered having their food in the corridors (stock image)

But he then tried to play down the issue saying it was happening because the school is doing well.

He added: "One throw away comment to the councillors was that two girls were discovered in a toilet eating their sandwiches.

"That may or may not have been down to the fact they could not find space in the dining room

"The fact is my dining hall is relatively small."

Read more: Parents to be charged for not picking up their child on Friday lunchtimes (The Guardian)

The head added: "We have shot ourselves in the foot.

"We have grown in size quicker than we could ever have anticipated."

More houses are being built in the catchment area.

Students already travel from as far away as Felixstowe - 18 miles and half an hour away.

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