We cannot guarantee…

imagesSO today I had a call back from the head of the primary school we expect Sidney will be going to.

I had a mini tour of it a few weeks back and it seemed very warm and jolly. We were shown round by some older kids who were pretty clued up when I asked if any pupils had food allergies; I also spoke to the SENCO (the Special Needs Co-Ordinator) at the time, and she said all the right things. As soon as I walked into Reception I clocked the tots playing with egg boxes and lentils (!) but she assured me that equipment and lessons would all be made safe.

Then the head rang me today, because I requested a quick chat with him before we apply in January, and the first thing he said was: “It’s about allergies, isn’t it? Well, I have to say we can’t guarantee anything.”

What exactly do you mean, quoth I, clenching my backend?

“Well, other schools might say they can but they shouldn’t. We can’t guarantee we’re a dairy free school or a nut free school or anything like that.”

What? Are schools issuing disclaimers now? Do they say: “We can’t guarantee your child won’t get food poisoning from the chicken salad, madam”? Or: “We can’t be sure Sophie won’t go arse over tit from the third floor window, Mrs Miggins”?

Please. Nobody can guarantee anything in life – when did I ever ask for a guarantee? – but how about starting the conversation with: “We have plenty of other children here with food allergies and we will do everything we can to ensure your child’s safety.”

That would be a start.

I’m meeting him on Thursday. Will try to untighten bum before then, if only so I can sit down.


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