Exclusive: Valence Primary School, Dagenham, ‘confiscates drinks’ under new ‘no juice’ rule

07:00 15 January 2014

Ronnie Biggs, four, with his parents Ricky and Kelly holding the sugar free juice he likes to drink

Ronnie Biggs, four, with his parents Ricky and Kelly holding the sugar free juice he likes to drink


Children at Valence Primary School are only allowed to drink water – which left those who don’t like it going all day without a drink.

The no juice policy was introduced when the new term started on January 2, but parents say they were unaware and included cartons and bottles as normal.

While the Dagenham school is providing water on the tables, parents say it has led to some children going more than six hours without anything to drink.

Ricky Biggs has kept his son Ronnie, four, off school because of the ban.

He said: “He doesn’t drink water and when he’s been in hospital they’ve given him squash. How can a hospital say squash is healthy, but a school say it isn’t?

“We spoke to the head about it and she just offered us a transfer form.”

A letter sent out on January 6 includes the line “you will no longer have the worry about providing a drink” and says the new policy is part of the application for the London Healthy Schools Award.

Ronnie’s mother, Kelly Debenam, said: “The letter makes it sound like they’re doing the parents a favour, but they’re not.

“Other schools don’t have this, it’s not compulsory, it’s just them trying to get this award.”

Carly Nunn said her five-year-old daughter, Teagan, has had drinks removed by midday supervisors.

She said: “She put a straw in the carton and took one sip and it was taken off her and put in the bin.

“The next day, I put it in a bottle, but it was tipped onto the table to check the colour of it.”

Headteacher Elizabeth Chaplin said that the school had a policy where midday supervisors disposed of half-empty drinks and yoghurt pots to prevent spillages in lunchboxes.

She added that children who were questioned over their drink contents were “more than happy to confirm or demonstrate the 
water content”.

She confirmed the parents who wanted to take their children out of school had been offered transfer forms, but they had not been completed and the children had returned to school. She said: “Regrettably our attempts to promote a healthier lifestyle have been received negatively by a very small minority.

“We are undertaking a review of the whole lunchtime provision and the review group will include representatives from the parents, pupils, staff and governors.”


Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:06
Howard Linskey, the Mayor of Barking and Dagenham and the author Martina Cole at the Barking and Dagenham ReadingFest writing project award ceremony

Budding bards and scribes were given awards for poetry and prose by a bestselling crime writer at a literary ceremony.

Yesterday, 15:04
The site of the old Abbey Leisure Centre will be regenerated next year

A redevelopment being hailed as a “cultural milestone” will bring 147 private flats and a three-screen art house cinema to Barking.

Yesterday, 12:11
Two men are seen taking the bag from the pram

A woman’s bag was taken from her pram by two men while her child sat inside.

Yesterday, 12:05
Cllr Darren Rodwell, fourth from left, and mayor Cllr Simon Bremner, centre, were among those in attendance

The Nigerian flag was raised at Barking Town Hall to celebrate 55 years since the country’s independence.

Most read news


You won't need to fork out for groceries for a while!

Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here!

Shop till you drop!

Here’s your chance to treat yourself to a new wardrobe and a whole lot more with this MyOffers competition to win an incredible £2,500 to spend at Primark on whatever you like!

Digital Edition

Read the Barking and Dagenham Post e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder