You may have seen in the news that Ide Primary School in Exeter has received criticism for introducing a ‘nut-free environment’ policy and the subsequent coverage in the Daily Mail Online.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign provided a full statement to the Daily Mail Online clarifying our position on this issue, which was shortened in the published article. You can read the full statement below.
Lynne Regent, Chief Executive of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, said:
“We recognise that this is an issue which generates strong views. Generally speaking, the Anaphylaxis Campaign would not necessarily support a blanket ban of any particular allergen in any establishment, including in schools. This is because peanuts and treenuts are only one of many allergens that could affect pupils, and no school could guarantee a truly allergen free environment for a child living with food allergy. We advocate instead for schools to adopt a culture of allergy awareness and education.
However, schools do have a duty of care to all pupils, so need to have procedures in place to minimise the risk of an allergic reaction occurring. All patients are different, and specific cases need specific advice, so a comprehensive care plan that accommodates the child’s needs should be developed with the input of parents, carers and medical professionals.
In nurseries and infant classes, it is reasonable to ask parents not to allow children to take peanuts and treenuts into school, in order to reduce the risks of cross-contamination for particularly young and vulnerable children. Schools caring for older children should undertake a thorough risk assessment and may wish to write to parents asking for their cooperation in making life safer for the children in their care. I would encourage all schools to take advantage of our free online anaphylaxis training course, AllergyWise for Schools, to help staff understand allergies and anaphylaxis and how to manage and care for children at risk.”
The Anaphylaxis Campaign helps raise awareness about allergies and anaphylaxis within schools and provide support to parents and carers of school age children.
Our fact sheet aims to answer aims to answer some of the questions frequently asked by parents, carers and schools. You can read this on our website here.
We also have a dedicated help area for schools on our website. Visit www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/schools.
If you have any concerns or questions, please contact our helpline team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01252 542 029.
For further information, please contact our press office via email@example.com or call 01252 893 862.