Recently we have received a number of enquiries from parents regarding the provision of whole grapes to our pupils, in particular our P1’s. This seems to have been highlighted during our transition days.
We have conducted a thorough consultation regarding this issue and have taken advice from our inspectors also. Although there is no legislative guidance within the School Implementation Guide regarding cutting grapes before they are served, there is advice within the early years’ guidance – Setting the Table that grapes should be cut before serving to children under 5.
Due to the fact that some children may still be under 5 at the point of starting Primary 1 we are in agreement that grapes should be vertically halved when served to this year group. Although the guidance is only applicable to primary 1, we appreciate that during service some of the P1s can also come in to the canteen with other year groups ie P2 & P3. Accordingly the rule will be to provide cut grapes for P1-3.
Some schools may not be able to provide this due to staffing constraints and therefore the service of grapes may be limited or removed.
We appreciate that we have not had any incidences with grapes in the past, but given the media attention and potential risk grapes can pose, this is the safest move.
These measures will come in to play as of Monday 4 December 2017.
Sent on behalf of Michelle McGuinness, Nutritionist