TES Article ‘Allergies in schools: why more action is needed’

04 October 2022 |

Our Trust was recently included in an article in the TES 30.9.22; our trust aims for children with allergies to feel safe and included at lunchtimes. Having brought catering in-house, and with a new allergy policy, we invite parents to see our lunch protocols and have further trained staff.

Excerpt below (read the article in full here):

‘Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust wrote a new allergy policy for its network of 17 schools after a decision to take its catering service back in house and the need to ensure it had more direct, top-down policies in place in this area. 

The arrival of a new executive chef to lead that change at around the same time as Natasha’s Law was brought into force focused minds on the question of allergies, and the decision was made to run one menu across all sites. 

Susanne Kiff, chief finance and operations officer at Dartmoor, said the chef made a particular effort to reduce the risks to children with allergies, including from cross contamination – and to make sure all children are able to share food together.

He doesn’t use common ingredients, such as egg and milk, if there are alternatives, so that everyone can have the same meal, she explains.

To reassure parents, they are invited to attend school and witness a lunch service to see how the protocol keeps their children safe – something which has proved popular.

Furthermore, when the new policy was published, Dartmoor ran training for the entire staff, delivered by the school nurse, which Kiff says has noticeably lessened teachers’ and teaching assistants’ anxieties about their responsibility for allergic pupils.

Kiff’s advice to schools starting this process is to make the messages straightforward: “Keep it simple to start off with and cover the bases before trying to give the detail.”

Read more here.