Allergen Advice

Westhoughton High School is committed to a whole school approach to the health care and management of those members of the school community suffering from specific allergies. The School position is not to guarantee a completely allergen free environment, rather to minimise the risk of exposure; encourage self-responsibility; and plan for an effective response to possible emergencies.
The School is committed to proactive risk allergy management through:
• The encouragement of self-responsibility and learned avoidance strategies amongst children suffering from allergies.
• Provision of a staff awareness programme on anaphylaxis.
• The establishment and documentation of a comprehensive management plan where needed.
• The establishment of specific risk exposure minimisation practices and strategies wherever required.
• Close liaison with parents of children who suffer allergies.
This management approach is congruent with contemporary specialist medical advice, and the School believes educating children to self-manage their condition is a skill attuned to their ‘real world’ situation.
Discussion with parents should inform the best approach for the individual child. This will take the form of ensuring the allergens are uploaded via sims onto the cashless system which will then send an alert to the cashier every time the students uses the service.
If the allergy is severe then the catering manager would go through the menu and break items they can eat with the student and/or parents/carers, as all the dishes have an allergy sheet. Additionally the student must ask every time if they are unsure of a product, to protect themselves from a potential allergic reaction.
Whilst, in the majority of cases, we may be happy that we can provide safe lunches, it may well be that parents prefer the element of control they can retain in providing a packed lunch.

Where packed lunches are taken, it is important that children do not share food with one another in case the allergic child unwittingly eats something containing an allergen. The area should be clean with spillages quickly attended to, and all children should wash their hands before and after eating.

Cookery lessons will be given careful thought, particularly with regard to the selection of ingredients and cleaning procedures. Again, students must self-manage this by informing the teachers of their allergies.