A key worker parent was left ‘disgusted’ after her niece was served what she says was an out-of-date, frozen sandwich for lunch at school.
Diane Duckworth claims the girl, who lives with her and is eligible for free school meals, was served the inedible food at Netherhall Learning Campus High School in Huddersfield on Wednesday.
The cleaner was forced to leave her job at Huddersfield Crematorium and drive to drop off a home-made meal for the youngster.
Both Diane’s son and niece have continued to attend school since the third national coronavirus lockdown was imposed on Monday due to her status as a key worker.
But the 37-year-old says she has major concerns over how the high school is currently operating and is now considering stopping work so that both children can learn from home.
Diane said she was first made aware of the out-of-date lunch when she received a picture from her niece which clearly showed the food’s expiry label.
She said: “My niece doesn’t like complaining so she phoned me up and told me she couldn’t eat the sandwich because it tasted funny, which led her to check the date on it.
“I then rang the receptionist to explain the situation and was told they would go and change it.”
The schoolgirl then phoned for a second time claiming she had been told the sandwiches had been taken out of the freezer and then defrosted, Diane said.
“After seeing the picture I drove to the school to give my niece a home-made sandwich,” said Diane. “I was disgusted.”
And Diane’s grievances with the school do not stop there.
The mum, of Waterloo, Huddersfield, also claimed: “I have seen a video from the day before (January 5), of about 14 kids in one classroom. There was no social distancing and no one was wearing masks.”
She added she is now considering taking drastic action, including home learning for the children which would force her to stop work.
“I’m thinking about taking them both out of school and having to stop work,” said Diane. “The sandwich incident pushed me over the edge.”
The alleged grim discovery comes after key workers reported struggles in dropping their kids off at school amid claims some non-key worker parents are needlessly sending their children into class.
Key workers are permitted to send their children to school while all other parents have been told to continue remote learning.
Responding to Diane’s allegations of a failure to impose social distancing, headteacher Michael Kent said: “Like all schools, we have extremely strong safety measures in place such as one-way systems, social distancing, regular hand washing and compulsory face coverings in communal areas.
“These rules are strictly applied and their importance is reinforced to pupils on a daily basis. The safety of pupils and staff is our absolute priority.
“After the government decided to close schools to most children, our bubble system had to adapt so that we could provide remote learning to hundreds of pupils at short notice.
“However, our families were kept fully up to date on these changes and the overwhelming majority are highly supportive of the work we do to protect their family.”
A Kirklees Council spokesperson confirmed it would be investigating the catering issue “in line with our policies and procedures”.