PARENTS

Mum Forced To Spend £11 A Day On Sick Son's School Meals Because Of Health And Safety Rules

14/08/2014 16:53 | Updated 22 May 2015

Mum forced to spend £11 a day on sick son's school meals because of health and safety rules

A mum has been forced to spend £11 a day on lunches for her ill five-year-old boy because his school refuses to prepare special 'smooth' meals for him.

Bradley Squires suffers from oral hypersensitivity, which means he can only eat foods which have a smooth texture.

His special requirements includes three bags of frozen mash potato and 40 yoghurts a day at a cost of £77 a week. But staff at his primary school have barred his mother Kerri, 23, from bringing in the prepared meals in a thermos flask.

And when she asked if staff could put together the specific meals in the school kitchen, they refused the request because teachers have not had 'appropriate hygiene training'.

Kerri, who lives in Chesterfield, said: "We came across a thermos flask and it would keep the food at the same temperature but they said it was a health and safety issue.

"Just letting him take it in a thermal flask could change Bradley's life and change mine."

She has been forced to make and deliver Bradley's lunch to Dunston Primary School in Chesterfield every day for more than a year.

The youngster is violently sick if he eats anything lumpy and was advised by doctors to eat mashed potato for lunch every day at school. His illness is so bad that he is sometimes sick when he sees other people chewing food.

Kerri added: "It's just really hard, it has been a struggle. His food costs me so much and I'm not getting any help.

"I'm angry, upset and disappointed with the school as I think they could have been more helpful and supportive."

Kerri received a letter from the headteacher at the end of last term saying it was 'not appropriate for the school to prepare food' and it did not have a 'facility appropriate to meet all the safety standards for food preparation and storage.'

The letter stated: "It is not appropriate for the school to prepare food as has been requested by yourself."

Staff do not have the hygiene training to prepare Bradley's lunches, it added.

Kerri said: "It costs me £11 a day. He can eat up to 40 yogurts and three bags of Aunt Bessie's frozen mash a day.

"I can't buy myself any shopping. It's ridiculous the amount of money it costs to feed him."

Bradley has to go to Chesterfield Royal Hospital regularly, where his condition is monitored. He is given iron and vitamin supplements to help his diet and cannot be referred for mental health treatment until he is seven.

Dunston Primary and Nursery School acting headteacher Paul Burgess said: "We've been working closely with this child's family to accommodate his special dietary needs and will arrange a meeting with them to try to resolve the issue."

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