Parents have condemned a school’s decision to ban all pork products from the menu and replace other meats with halal versions.
Pupils aged between three and 11 at Brinsworth Manor Infant and Junior Schools in Rotherham – which Ofsted identifies as having only a small number of pupils from minority ethnic groups – will no longer be able to enjoy sausages, bacon or ham.
Parents at both schools, which share a site, were told of the decision in a letter from Rotherham Council’s principal catering officer Ron Parry, who wrote that there had been ‘minor adjustments’ to the lunch menu.
And parents have branded the decision ‘a scandal’ as only twenty per cent of the 600 pupils are Muslim and the decision to provide halal meat was up to individual schools in the town.
A mother with an 11-year-old girl at the school, who asked not to be named for fear of being branded racist, said: ‘At home I pay more for organic and free range food. I am a Christian but I don’t do it because of that, it’s more for the respect of how animals are killed.
‘The way the animals are slaughtered for halal meat is a religious killing and I don’t feel it should be in schools.
‘My daughter has been anxious about the change as she has concerns about if it is humane killing. I believe in animal welfare rights and standards of meat production that halal does not follow.
‘The children love pork and it’s a scandal to take these meats off the menu to please, what I consider to be, a low number of children who require halal meat.
‘The majority of the children are now having school meals that are made for the minority. The halal children have always had the vegetarian and fish options. ‘
Another mum of a son at the school said she believed that halal slaughtering was cruel.
She added : ‘My son is a really fussy eater and pork is his favourite meat. He’ll get bored having chicken all the time.’