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Children at Westbra Hall Infants School were in tears earlier this morning when they arrived at school excited about taking part in Pancake Day, only to find out that the traditional and popular February sweet treat has been banned by the headteacher due to health and safety concerns. The school’s Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) had already organised a fun pancake cooking session for the whole school at lunchtime, but everyone received a letter this morning at the school gates explaining why the children wouldn’t be able to take part.
In her letter, the controversial Portuguese Westbra Hall headteacher Anna-Phil Actica stated: ‘I am incredibly sorry to inform all of you that I have had to cancel today’s planned Pancake Day event due to health and safety concerns. Although the PTA spent many hours completing the necessary risk assessment paperwork and site evaluations, I suddenly realised last night that a child’s face could possibly get covered by a whole pancake – this would make it impossible for them to breathe and therefore they would be at risk of suffocation. While it may be possible to cut up all pancakes before serving them to the children, I have come to the difficult decision that we need to cancel the event.’
She added in a follow-up email: ‘Besides the fact that there is an incredibly small but also incredibly possible risk that a child could be suffocated by having a pancake spread out across their mouth and nose simultaneously, it is also impossible to confirm that all of the ingredients have come from an environment that is free of nuts. Last year, someone brought in a birthday cake that came from a bakery that was three doors down from a newsagents that sold Snickers bars – as a precaution we had to close the school for three days while a team of decontamination experts sprayed the entire premises.’
However in a late development, an enraged member of the PTA Joanna Lemon has confirmed that she intends to stand at the school gates and pass pre-cut pancakes in a chocolate sauce into the playground. A spokesperson for the Southend Education Consortium Authority said: ‘We need to make it perfectly clear that the wishes of the headteacher need to be followed without question by all parents – in this situation Mrs Actica has the sole responsibility for the safety of all children. If a parent tries to get around the pancake ban in any way, there will be very serious consequences, and technically hanging around at school gates could be interpreted as a sexual offence.’
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