education

Girl, 6, ‘told by school she wouldn’t get drink all day after bringing in Vimto’


Trinity Fisher with her father Michael (Picture: Evening Gazette)

A dad has claimed his daughter, aged six, would told she could not have a drink all day after she brought in a bottle of weak Vimto.

Trinity Fisher’s school has a policy that pupils can only drink water during lessons.

Normanby Primary School has defended its policy saying it is promoting ‘good dental hygiene’.

But Michael, 36, says his daughter was told to go home if she was unable to drink water instead.

He says he was told a member of staff said to Trinity: ‘You’re not going to have a drink all day’.

Michael, from the Berwick Hills area of the town, said: ‘I understand the school’s policy – there’s a no juice policy – but for the last six years Trinity hasn’t drank water. We have given her flavoured water.

‘The school felt the need to pull her and take the drink bottle off her and say “you won’t be having a drink all day thank you”.

‘I said “If you are not going to give my daughter a drink today I will pick her up”.

They said “we’re not going to give her the juice”.

Trinity with her water bottle (Picture: Evening Gazette)

‘They would rather send her home than let the kid have a drink. She’s six years old!

‘She’s missed so much of school already, I think it’s ridiculous that they’d rather she’d not be in school then let her have a drink of juice.’

Outside of school, Trinity usually drinks juice, flavoured water or milk.

Michael said he drove 20 minutes to the school with a bottle of flavoured water which he hoped the school would accept.

However he said that when he arrived there was no member of staff available to discuss the issue with him.

Michael said: ‘No one was available to speak to me. There was just Trinity available with her coat and her packed lunch.

‘I feel irate.

‘I’m not asking for a exception here, I’m asking for a compromise.

‘We’re not campaigning for juice, I just want her to have flavoured water.

‘She’s behind in her school and educational needs and getting extra help with speech and Maths and English.

‘I just think it’s unacceptable, I think education should be first and foremost and then what she’s eating and drinking.’

Michael, who runs The Exhale shop and Teesside Cannabis Club in Stockton, said Trinity has been left very upset by the incident.

He said: ‘She feels she’s done something wrong and that’s why she’s been sent home.

‘She loves school, she wanted to go to after school club to hang with her friends and she’s been picked up at half 10 in the morning.

‘She doesn’t want to go back into the school. She feels uncomfortable around the teachers.

‘It’s so frustrating for me because you would have expected it to be kids upsetting her not the teachers.’

Michael said his next step is to get Trinity a medical certificate which will allow her to consume other drinks throughout the day.

He said that when she returns home from school she is ‘drinking her body weight’ in juice or flavoured water.

Michael added: ‘We’re confident that the doctor will say she needs access to juice during the day.’

Carl Faulkner, Head teacher at Normanby Primary School, said they have a ‘well established’ policy in regards to pupils access to drinks during the day.

Mr Faulkner said: ‘During lesson time and in pupil breaks our children are free to access fresh drinking water, or their own water bottle, that they may have brought from home.

‘At other times of the day, other drinks are available alongside water; for example hot chocolate or juice maybe served in our Breakfast Club, After-school club or occasionally in the dining hall at lunchtime. These are times when snacks or food are served.

‘By limiting access to sweet, sugary or caffeinated drinks at other times, we are seeking to help promote good dental hygiene.

‘For some children access to other drinks may be required for example if the they are are prescribed alternatives by a doctor.

‘For any families that this is an issue for, we complete a care plan with our school nurse to make sure we fully meet the needs of that individual child.’

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