Severe allergies and Edinburgh primary schools - where to go?!

(7 Posts)
katwoman28 Fri 14-Feb-14 11:52:04

My little boy is four and due to start school in August.
After a meeting with his allergy nurse this week I've realised that we maybe need to think twice about which school to send him to.
At the moment he's due to go to Tollcross but I've not yet discussed his allergy plan with them. This will happen after the Easter hols. Too late for a change of school choice, so it'll need to happen sooner.

However, I'm wondering if we should be considering our local catchment catholic school (St Peters), Bruntsfield, Gillespies or Sciennes instead.
This all depends on their stance & track record with food allergies and asthma.

The nurse said, 'oh, now that's quite and old school. We'll need to meet with them to make sure he doesn't sit by radiators, on the old carpets, organise meals etc etc' She's wonderful and a font of knowledge but it made me realise I've been a bit naive and need to research this and take charge myself.

He's allergic to all pulses, legumes & soya, nuts, diary, egg, mustard, orange, tomato and far!
We're in the midst of some testing and since he was recently diagnosed with Asthma after an attack we are looking at environmental allergens too such as dust mites, animals, pollen etc

What I'm wondering is if anyone has any personal experience of these schools or have children in a similar situation.

Thanks in advance!


3nationedinburgh Fri 14-Feb-14 12:03:47

The first thing I would do is contact the Council education department and see if it is even possible to make a change request on this basis.

Most of the schools you mention as alternatives are massively oversubscribed for P1 and you may have no chance of getting in anyway.

Most schools have loads of children with Athsma for various reasons and are well used to dealing with these issues.

For the food side of things you may well have to resign yourself to making packed lunches for the rest of his school days as there are unlikely to be sufficient guarantees available from the school dinner providers to satisfy your concerns- my daughter is Coeliac and could not get a gluten free option at primary at all.

katwoman28 Fri 14-Feb-14 14:11:35

Thanks, from what I understand you may be able to make the request for this reason if they are considered skilled in the area.
I'm probably coeliac but cut out gluten before realising and can't go back to eating it for the test.
He's currently on a gluten free challenge and it's made a huge difference so it's likely!
I appreciate your message, thanks.

katwoman28 Fri 14-Feb-14 14:20:49

I'd still much rather he went to his chosen school anyway as I'm more than aware of people complaining about the over subscription and that they're gone into lockdown. I am wondering now about st Peters though because it's modern and in catchment....

AnneinEdinburgh Fri 14-Feb-14 20:36:59

My niece is in P1 at Bruntsfield and has a severe nut allergy and asthma. The school didn't bat an eyelid about epi pens and inhalers and neither did the after school club. All fine so far.

Good luck with it all.

GrooveeCar Sat 15-Feb-14 16:49:06

I would contact them now. My son is in another school in the city which is "popular."

Despite my son and other children having nut allergies I was quite cross to get a phone call to make me aware that he'd been feeding the birds and the mix contained nuts! Having worked in Nursery for 20+ years and having NEVER used a nut based bird feed as there are plenty nut free ones out there. They really didn't get what I was saying about nut free versions.

2 years down the line my friend who's daughter is 2 years younger had the exact same issue when her daughter who can't even be near nuts, where as my son's is only when he eats them, had a reaction in class. She then had another fight when the deputy head said that it wouldn't be christmas without marizanpan on the christmas cakes which had caused another reaction.

The school laughably claims to be a nut free zone!

I believe I may be about to have the same fight with the high school with regards to home economics and their use of nuts! I've found this out by my daughter telling me a child had to change choices because they aren't willing to NOT use nuts!

Hopefully you won't have the stupidity of what myself and others have gone through with regards to blatent neglect of the children in their care with allergies.

katwoman28 Thu 06-Mar-14 20:41:46

Oh god, that's awful!
I'm really sorry I didn't see your replied as i wasn't alerted.
Well, today I set up an appointment with the head at tollcross so we'll see what comes up with that on Monday.
I wish I could shake people who think it's an overreaction when it could potentially come down to a life or death situation!
I really hope that there's more education in schools in future.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now