School dinners. Can staff really do this?(221 Posts)
Trying to keep it vague as haven't been able to get a meeting yet.
My dd returned to school after summer holiday. Same school she has been to, for a couple of years. Since she a tarted age 4.
Same staff. Same head. Same catering team.
Small village school. Single class intake.
Dd is key stage 1. So gets free dinners. All ks1 get them.
Dd has a dairy allergy. She has had this since birth. School are fully aware and kept her dairy free in the previous years.
Yesterday, I got a phone call after lunch. Asking me to collect dd as she had got an upset stomach and had pooed in the classroom.
As soon as I got near her, I could smell poo. Not normal poo, but the awful smelly stuff she made as a baby, before we got her allergy sorted.
So I asked what she had eaten. Macaroni cheese. Normal macaroni cheese. With real cheese.
Apparently, she has been taken off the allergy list, due to a paperwork issue?
School haven't updated her care thing, so gave her normal food. Knowing it would make her poorly.
Who is my issue with here?
School? Teacher? Office staff? Catering staff?
Dd is not old enough to fully understand food restrictions. She usually asks if it's OK for her. But with new kids starting, lots of noise.. I would not put the blame on her.
That really isn't good enough. I'm not in the UK but where I am we keep lists in the canteen and all staff are informed- luckily your daughter is ok but some allergies are life threatening. I would contact the head teacher and let them deal with it.
I wouldn't be sending her back until you've had a meeting and her allergy has been put back on. That's appalling and your poor DD must have been in pain.
I'd go to the headteacher. They are ultimately responsible. It really really isn't good enough that they missed something like that. Hope your DD is ok
That's not good enough. The school is at fault here.
That’s awful. It’s a ‘paperwork issue’ then it would come from the office. I work in a school office and always prioritise keeping on top of allergies and medicines. But no one comes off well here, if she’s been there a few years all staff should’ve known.
Oh goodness your poor daughter! I would be seriously complaining to the head teacher. They have a duty of care to your daughter and their action could have life threatening consequences. It’s a very serious error and should be no excuses!
That's terrible. God forbid she had an allergy which could have resulted in anaphylaxis! Paperwork issue isn't good enough OP. Hope your daughter is feeling better.
Take it easy, mistakes happen. It is not pleasant for the child, but I am sure s/he will recover.
Just speak to the head and calmly state your case. No need for pearl clutching head banging stuff.
I am sure they will not do this again. No one is perfect are they?
That's so bad!!! What if it were peanuts and they gave her a peanut butter sandwich?!
They have a duty of care and have failed terribly.
That's awful! I'm a teacher and mother of a daughter and I would be absolutely fuming if that happened to her. She must've been in pain poor thing not to mention embarrassed about having an accident at school. I'd demand a meeting with the head so they can unpick why this happened, it's absolutely not good enough. If their systems are so lax what if a child allergic to nuts had eaten them?! Hope she's ok now
Oh my goodness, that is horrendous.
I think the first point of contact is the head. There is a serious issue with processes and procedures to enable that to happen.
A spoonful of Macaroni cheese could have killed my son.
It could be that a new member of staff served the food as they weren't aware of the allergy, paperwork may not have filtered through, someone may have missed your daughter off a list - whatever the reason, it must not happen again and the head, SLT and governors need to ensure that by reviewing current practice and improving it.
There should be allergy only schools now. Where every staff member is allocated a child with a certain allergy and knows how to deal with it and manage it. ( tongue in cheek there sorry).
A large school or even a small one sometimes, can make mistakes. Sorry that it happened to your DC but no harm came of it, and lessons will be learned. Glad your child is ok. Be thankful for that, without apportioning blame left right and centre.
To err is human, to forgive divine.
Mistakes happen simply isn’t a good enough excuse when it comes to allergies. A mistake can kill.
Arrange a meeting with the head, calmly explain your concerns and ask how it went wrong and what they will do to stop it happening ahain.
I think there are two issues here.
The first is the mistake that the school have made. It's unacceptable.
However- your daughter has been at school for a 'couple of years?' She must start taking responsibility for her own health. She is surely old enough to know what she can and cannot eat.
The posters saying that this mistake really doesn't matter are probably the same people who eat peanuts on a plane and tell allergy suffered to mind their own business.
It's not good enough. And their reaction is unbelievable... seems like they didn't take it seriously. It's not just her health it's the embarrassment she'd had felt infront of her class as well. Kids can be cruel and a bathroom accident is something they won't forget.
It is not about blaming or clutching pearls, it's about having an effective, infallible procedure that ensure children are safe.
This is also an optimum opportunity to ensure that your daughter asks about any unknown food, so she can check if it has dairy in.
My son has multiple allergies and has been asking since he was 3 if he was allowed unfamiliar foods. He will now (6)ask the adult serving if he is allergic to it and can list the 4 food groups that can cause anaphlactis for him - Nuts are not one of these in his case.
Keyboardkate I actually can’t believe you are minimising this. Allergies can kill! This isn’t a simple error - this is the school not taking the lives of the children in their care seriously. A boy died last year due to a dairy allergy at school!
OP you need to take this straight to the head. Your poor DD must have been in pain and so embarrassed and it’s so lucky it isn’t worse.
It’s not a case of no harm done - your child had an upset stomach and, I assume, diarrhoea. That is harm, and it was caused by sloppy admin. There is no excuse for this.
That’s awful-your poor DD. This is absolutely unacceptable and their procedures need fixing ASAP. An investigation needs to happen so as to see what went wrong and make changes. I’m gobsmacked. Just shouldn’t happen.
Well yes @ilovemybobblehat, but she is a little girl not an adult, and if you have a child with an intolerance/allergy then you often make them "safe" versions of meals that generally not ok.
Many of our meals are dairy and gluten free and we all eat the same, my 6yo DD would hopefully ask but she is a child, so she trusts the adults around her to look after her. My DD can't have dairy, but her favourite tea is "cheesy" pasta - all absolutely dairy free with no cows milk cheese involved.
I would be furious OP, and email the head cc in g her class teacher asking for an immediate meeting regarding a potentially fatal safeguarding failure. There are many children who are anaphylactic to milk, so they could have killed a child here.
I need to say, after many similar incidents I switched my child to packed lunches as the school were just incompetent - hope yours are better.
An allergic reaction is horrendous. Whether it’s anaphylactic or not. This little girl was so ill she pooed herself. So she has the embarrassment of that to deal with as well (not that she should be but it’s a normal emotional reaction)
I would be asking the school for a serious explanation. I would also teach your daughter to question everything as to whether it contains something she is allergic too.
And at 6 or 7 having been at the school for a couple of years knowing it was a safe environment you can understand why she wouldn’t think to question. The child is in no way to blame!
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