12th May, 2021

Mum slams Ridgeway after daughter denied a drink of water

A MUM has slammed Ridgeway Secondary School after staff refused to allow her daughter to have a drink of water.

Lisa Thomas’s 13-year-old daughter Olivia needed to slake her thirst in Wednesday’s unseasonably warm weather after already drinking the litre bottle of water she’d brought with her.

But when she asked her teacher he refused and a second request at the school office was also turned down.

“This cannot be right – why has the school not allowed children their basic human right of access to water?” said Lisa, from Woodrow.

“I work in the NHS on the frail and elderly ward at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and one of the things we have to do is monitor their fluid balance charts to make sure they are drinking enough.

“Yet the school denied my daughter a drink of water.”

She added that Olivia always takes a litre bottle of water with her and couldn’t carry any more as she had school books as well.

“I’d like to know how many drinks the staff have in the day, cups of tea and coffee and as much water as they like.”

Lisa says she has raised a formal complaint and personally contacted the Department of Education.

“They told me water must be available at all times and it’s the school’s responsibility to ensure that this is carried out.”

Mike Bennett, headteacher of Ridgeway Secondary, said: “Like all schools we have taken a safety first approach to Covid-19, so we minimise any risk of the virus being passed around.

“As part of these measures our school water fountains were turned off and we asked students to ensure they brought enough water into school.

“We appreciate this is an inconvenience, especially on unseasonably warm days such as those experienced earlier this week, but we are following regulations approved by the local authority that are designed to keep everyone in our school community safe. We can’t bend those rules, especially at a time when the pandemic still poses a risk.

“As warmer days are coming we will be stepping up our regular messages to students – and parents – that they should bring in enough drinks to get them through the school day.”

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