Dorset

Beaminster school buys extra freezer amid Brexit food fears

Mountjoy School Image copyright Dorset Council
Image caption The school has sent a letter to parents warning of the potential risks to pupils in the event of a no-deal Brexit

A Dorset school for children with special needs has bought an extra freezer and is stockpiling food in preparation for a no-deal Brexit.

In a letter to parents, Mountjoy School said it had taken the decision to avoid potential food shortages.

The Beaminster school said it would stock the freezer with meals to cover short-term issues following Brexit.

It said staff would share transport to cut down on fuel use, and planned to keep a school vehicle fully fuelled.

The letter from head teacher Jackie Shanks said the 93-place school for children between the ages of two and a half and 19 would also be increasing its stock of cans and long-life shelf products.

It urged parents whose children were reliant on medicines to contact their GPs to make sure "contingency measures" were in place.

Image caption The letter from the school sets out its plans for a no-deal Brexit

Andy Ford from Sherborne - whose son goes to the school - said the letter "wasn't scaremongering" but made him realise "just how little information we've received from the government about these issues".

He said: "A bit of clarity and a bit of honesty would be nice."

Mark Blackman, Director of Education for Dorset Council said the letter was "a positive move".

He said: "When you've got a change coming it's really important that you think through risks."

The authority said it had been talking to all of the schools in the county encouraging them to "think really carefully about their preparations for Brexit".

Government Brexit advice to schools

Contact your food supplier or suppliers, or your local authority or academy trust, if they arrange food on your behalf, to make sure they:

  • are planning for the potential impacts of a no-deal Brexit, including:
  • ensuring that their secondary suppliers are prepared
  • plans to adapt menus to allow for product substitution if necessary
  • can continue to meet nutritional standards
  • can continue to meet special dietary needs and manage allergies

Local authorities and schools must continue to provide meals to all registered pupils who request one. Where the pupil meets the criteria for free school meals, the meal must be provided, free of charge.

Schools have significant flexibilities within the school food standards, which they can refer to if certain items are in short supply.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites