Lancashire school bans birthday cakes

The Guardian is reporting that birthday cakes have been banned by a school in Lancashire because teachers claim they do not have the time to check whether they are suitable for pupils with allergies.

Screenshot 2016-01-15 18.48.47

from the school newsletter

Karen McCarter, head at Norbreck primary academy in Blackpool, told parents she “hates to be a killjoy” but due to “modern society” she could not risk giving children something they might be allergic to.

In a newsletter to parents last week McCarter apologised for the move, saying: “I appreciate that this is sad, but in our modern society, in which we are held accountable, we cannot take the risk.”

The head wrote: “As we are not able to account for the ingredients, we could unknowingly give a product to a child which they are allergic to.

“Even if we had a list of ingredients, in a busy school day it is too much to expect teachers to read it and decide who can and cannot eat the product.

“Sharing cake for a birthday is a lovely thing to do. However, all children are made to feel special when it’s their birthday and the teachers ensure all birthdays are remembered and celebrated.

“Cake is something to share outside of school with family or with friends at a party.”

McCarter said 10 of the school’s approximate 610 pupils had allergies and felt left out, and she said it was impossible to tell if kitchens at home were hygienic, adding that cake also went against the school’s healthy eating initiatives.

She said the decision to ban the treats from classrooms came after seeing teachers struggle to cut enough slices for a class of 30 people, as well as clean up the mess left behind…

More at Lancashire school bans birthday cakes


There are quite a few different messages here being used to justify the decision – would it have been easier just to say we don’t want the disruption of birthday cakes?

How does your/your child’s school deal with this?

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Birthday cakes in school - yes or no?

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  1. CliveRockell

    SchoolsImprove I don’t blame the ht. We ‘reap what we sow’ when we convince our leaders that we live in a litigious risk-averse warzone.

  2. thiskidsthinkin

    Fair enough decision. In a school kitchen, great lengths are taken to ensure food is kept free from contamination from gluten, nuts, milk, eggs,etc so a child who is allergic doesn’t get sick, sometimes seriously sick from whatever they are allergic too. All that could be for nothing is a child allergic to gluten, lactose or eggs was exposed to a cake in the classroom that may potentially put them into hospital.

  3. acet2001

    SchoolsImprove A shame but I have sympathy for the head. If something went wrong they’d be hung out to dry by ‘the powers that be’.

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