My Daughter with SEN was left hungry at school

(339 Posts)
Dolphin7 Sun 13-Jun-21 23:42:16

I'm just after advice really, a child in my DDs class was confirmed as being Covid-19 positive (he's fine asymptomatic), the whole class was sent home. My phone had run out of battery (Typical!! The only time my phone doesn't have charge!!) and I was unreachable. My other half had been contacted and could not collect earlier than the normal collection time due to work commitments and travel etc. I was able to charge my phone and received the messages mid afternoon, therefore I was only able to collect my daughter 20mins earlier than her normal collection time. When I did collect her she told me she hadn't been allowed to have lunch because of the Covid-19 case in her class (not being allowed to enter the lunch hall I understand, but no one thought to feed her at all!!), so she'd been left to go hungry the whole day apart from some birthday sweets she found in her bag!! Am I being unreasonable to be upset that the school allowed my daughter with SEN (she's on the autistic spectrum) to go hungry the whole day? I understand that I should have been contactable and I always am, just very unfortunate that on the only day ever that my phone didn't charge properly I needed it the most 😫
What would you do now? Complain to the school or beyond?
Thank you in advance for any advice given 🙂

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Iggi999 Sun 13-Jun-21 23:47:00

I think they should have fed her, absolutely. But I also think it was unacceptable for no parent to have collected her once contacted. Unless he was in the middle of performing open heart surgery kind of thing. We've all had to do the run out of work after a phone call! I would be inclined to put this down to the incredible stress of a whole class needing to be isolated, all the phone calls etc. It's not likely to happen again is it?
Hope you dd is negative flowers

NoSquirrels Sun 13-Jun-21 23:51:33

Yes, if she was school dinners they should have fed her. I’d definitely have a word - SEN has no bearing on this though, it could equally happen to any child.

But this:

My other half had been contacted and could not collect earlier than the normal collection time due to work commitments and travel etc.

is the unreasonable part! If he’s called and they can’t contact you, he has to go.

BoredOfThisShit Sun 13-Jun-21 23:53:38

Im surprised they didn't call emergency contacts

Iggi999 Sun 13-Jun-21 23:54:46

We are the only emergency contacts for my dc (their parents)

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 13-Jun-21 23:55:36

I agree with Iggi. They probably should have got her something to eat from the school lunches, but really the bigger issue is your DH taking that call mid-morning and then not doing anything to either collect her or arrange for someone else to do it. What was he doing?

Dolphin7 Sun 13-Jun-21 23:55:39

OH could not have collected sooner than I was able to due to physical distance, transport etc. Otherwise he would have been there. Thank you for agreeing DD should have been fed, DD is fine thank you, Covid-19 negative after home test, she was a superstar didn't even retch!! Did better than I did!!

OP’s posts: |


ineedaholidaynow Sun 13-Jun-21 23:57:23

@BoredOfThisShit I’m assuming PP and DH were the only contacts. I was a contact for a couple of parent friends at Primary School as was SAHM and local so might be available if the parents were stuck in work or worked a fair distance from school.

Iggi999 Sun 13-Jun-21 23:57:54

Op you said "work commitments"

wildeverose Mon 14-Jun-21 00:00:26

I am sorry but I agree it's awful no one collected her - there should be emergency contacts that would always be able to get there. What if she was badly hurt?? Your husband should have arranged someone to get her if you were unreachable- the food is the least of the issues.

Soontobe60 Mon 14-Jun-21 00:01:04

I assume your dh didn’t do anything to arrange someone to collect your dd, and didn’t worry about the fact that the school couldn’t contact you? Were you at work when this happened?

Your dd would have been in isolation with a member of staff checking up on her. Are you absolutely sure she didn’t get any food? She may well have thought that because she didn’t go in the dining hall she didn’t have dinner.

Dolphin7 Mon 14-Jun-21 00:02:13

The SEN issue is that DD wouldn't ask for food or complain that she was hungry, part of her autism.
OH could not physically get to the school before normal collection time (which he knew I would be there for) due to distance and travel involved.

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BackforGood Mon 14-Jun-21 00:03:17

I agree with the others.

Of course it isn't right that she somehow missed her dinner, and I understand you being a bit annoyed but the main issue here is that you (collectively) didn't collect her when asked.
We all have work commitments.
That's why we ask other people to be emergency contacts if there is ever any possibility of not being able to leave work.

What would you do now?
Make sure there is a back up plan in place...... do you work ? Is there not a landline ? Could your partner not have phoned someone you might have been with - a colleague or a neighbour / friend if you were at home and if your house has no landline ?...... or a mutual arrangement with other parents...... or some other friends, relations, neighbours etc.

Complain to the school or beyond?.....No. What iggi999 said. Plus, having a meal 3 hours later than you were expecting is upsetting, but hardly dangerous. It was a one off, unfortunate thing that happened. Put it behind you and think about what you can put in place to make sure it doesn't happen again.

ineedaholidaynow Mon 14-Jun-21 00:03:39

Is there a reason he didn’t try and get someone else to pick her up, or would she not go with anyone else?

RogueMNerHidesUnderBigHat Mon 14-Jun-21 00:06:37

It's wrong she wasn't fed, but school had a lot going on and she needed to be gone.

This is on your dh really.

If he couldn't get there and noone could get hold of you he should have gone through his phone contacts until he found someone that could collect her.
Did he not have your office number or a number for one of your colleagues?

Dolphin7 Mon 14-Jun-21 00:06:50

My DD is honest, matter of fact and truthful. She did not receive any food, nor was she offered any. The teachers didn't pay her any attention, not even to give her work to do while she waited. She was left alone to wait while they were in another part of the classroom.

OP’s posts: |
RogueMNerHidesUnderBigHat Mon 14-Jun-21 00:08:15

Sorry x-posted with lots of others

Iggi999 Mon 14-Jun-21 00:10:17

Presumably her own teacher was also sent home to isolate - the other teachers needed to stay away from your dd or they could end job being off too if she tests positive in a few days.

Soontobe60 Mon 14-Jun-21 00:13:39


My DD is honest, matter of fact and truthful. She did not receive any food, nor was she offered any. The teachers didn't pay her any attention, not even to give her work to do while she waited. She was left alone to wait while they were in another part of the classroom.

They would not have been allowed to go near her! If you had picked her up, she would not have been left in her own. What do you expect her to do? What did her DF tell school when they contacted him?

Dolphin7 Mon 14-Jun-21 00:17:34

Her school teacher and teaching assistant? Really? They were in the same boat, now having to isolate themselves.

OP’s posts: |
Iggi999 Mon 14-Jun-21 00:18:52

They're not allowed to hang out together just because they have already had contact!
They would also have needed to go home.

Castlepeak Mon 14-Jun-21 00:19:06

The school should have delivered a meal to isolation. It was an oversight and it should not have happened. They should be mindful of it in the future.

If her father can’t pick her up, he is supposed to find someone who can, not just leave her there all day.

RogueMNerHidesUnderBigHat Mon 14-Jun-21 00:23:08

You seem determined to turn this into a complaint op.

But posters aren't really agreeing with you.

saraclara Mon 14-Jun-21 00:27:31

Presumably OP's DP assumed that eventually the school would get through to OP (he was probably trying her number too). He wasn't to guess that her battery had died.

It wasn't an emergency, his DD wasn't ill or had an accident, so staying where he was and expecting that OP would pick up the call eventually wasn't that bad a decision. If school had been that bothered they'd have asked him to call a friend or neighbour.

SofiaAmes Mon 14-Jun-21 00:33:28

They definitely should have offered her food and checked on her. However, as others have said, for the future, it's probably worth having someone local to the school as a backup. I was the backup for my friend whose ds had some medical issues and often (several times a month) had to be picked up early from school to just lie down in a dark room (migraines, dizziness and couldn't walk without assistance) This happened all the way through until he finished high school (we're in the usa)...not sure what they do now that he's away at Uni. Both my friend and her dh worked at least 30 - 60 minutes away from the school. I lived and worked from home near the school/their home. When he was younger, I'd bring him to my house and when he got older I'd just bring him home. It was 30 minutes out of my day, and I was happy to be able to help. They were appreciative and helpful when my dc's were sick as I'm a single parent....this was extra useful.

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