A handful of children across the borough went hungry on their first day back to school after a school dinner operating system stopped working this week.

Southborough High School, which does not accept payment in money for lunches and uses the Parent Pay and finger scan system, was one of the school’s affected by the system crash.

One student who had topped up more than £20 for his lunch was told he had no money to pay for his food.

Niall Smith, headteacher at Southborough High, said: “We were extremely sorry to hear that a student of ours went without lunch because of a problem with Parent Pay.

“As many parents will testify, Parent Pay is a tried and tested payment system that most schools use in the borough of Kingston and it generally has a good track record of working well for both students and parents alike.”

He added that students would be welcome to speak to the finance office to resolve this in the future and a plan would be communicated to students and parents should this happen again.