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Mother fears for child’s welfare after Barking school staff offer him wrong drugs

14:48 19 September 2012

Georgina Walczyk with nine-year-old son Alfie who sufefrs from Bell

Georgina Walczyk with nine-year-old son Alfie who sufefrs from Bell's Palsy

Archant

A mother has removed her nine-year-old son from a Barking school after claiming he was wrongly offered another pupil’s prescription drugs.

Georgina Walczyk took Alfie out of Thames View Junior School, saying a member of staff mistakenly handed him a prescription to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The drug that Alfie was offered on September 5, was for another pupil who shares his first name.

When offered the ADHD medicine, he saw the name on it was not his and did not take it. Barking and Dagenham Council confirmed an investigation is under way.

Ms Walczyk, 26, said: “I don’t feel my child is safe there at all.”

Alfie, in year five, suffers from Bell’s palsy — a paralysis of the facial muscles – and was feeling unwell that day.

He suffered his first attack of the condition in August and had complained of having an earache – an indicator that another attack may occur.

Ms Walczyk said she had told the school to inform her when her son was unwell but claims this did not happen.

“I told them, no matter what time it is you should call me, but they never did,” said Ms Walczyk. “I have no faith in the school anymore.”

Ms Walczyk, an accommodation officer, also told the Post that in an unrelated incident in January, her son was denied a school meal.

She said Alfie had his lunch taken away from him after staff noticed that the top-up card he was using to pay for meals did not have enough cash on it.

She said he was instead offered an “emergency meal” of two Jacob’s crackers, a Dairylea cheese triangle and a glass of water.

“They said it was a healthy balanced meal,” said Ms Walczyk. “I let the first incident go because I know the school, I used to go there, and I thought I would give them a chance.

“But this time I cannot leave it and I cannot put him back into the school knowing that I have taken it this far. I do not want him to feel uncomfortable at all.”

A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman said: “The matter regarding an attempt to give Alfie medication that was not prescribed for him is under investigation and we are unable to comment further at this time.”

He added: “In regards to the meal, the matter of handling debt is one for school governors. However, the local authority recommends that children, as a minimum, are given a packed lunch.

“Our local authority policy clearly states that we do not want children to go hungry but any parental debt has to be paid up.

“There seems to be a difference of opinion between mum and the school about how this was handled.”

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