As part of guidelines on lunchbox searches, teachers are also expected to consult and discuss healthy eating plans with pupils’ parents.
The Department of Education claims schools and teachers should also seek out legal advice if they have worries over pupils’ food.
Education minister Lord Nash said: “Schools have common law powers to search pupils, with their consent, for items.
“There is nothing to prevent schools from having a policy of inspecting lunch boxes for food items that are prohibited under their school food policies.
‘nanny’ state – or dictatorship ?