A primary school teacher has been accused of leaving a child dehydrated after pouring away his fruit squash and replacing it with water on a hot day.
Mum Stephanie Lapham criticised Blackhorse Primary School in Bristol for replacing her son Rocky's favourite drink with water on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old said her five-year-old son, who has speech and language development issues, refuses to drink anything but blackcurrant squash.
So, when Rocky returned from school on Tuesday, he had not drank any water all day even though temperatures had reached around 28°C in the Bristol area.
His mum said he had a headache and 'was crying all night' due to dehydration.
She complained: 'Rocky returned to school on Monday after the summer holidays and went into Year One with a new teacher.
'He came home from school on Tuesday complaining of a headache all evening, really upset and holding his head.
'He has speech and language development issues, so when he was crying and told me on Tuesday night that his teacher had poured his drink down the sink, I thought he must have got that wrong, and there was no way that happened.
'As I was dropping him off to school the next day, l thought I would quickly pop over to check with the teacher, and she said, 'Yeah that is right — school policy is water.'
'Number one it is sugar-free, but two, it is nothing to do with her.
'Its a sealed [opaque] bottle and she went out of her way to look inside.'
When she went into headteacher Simon Botten's office to complain, he told her it was 'school policy' but agreed that the teacher should have not poured away Rocky's drink.
Blackhorse Primary School, on Blackhorse Lane, apologised to Ms Lapham and explained that the school's policy had not been 'clearly communicated' to her.
The school now says it will allow Rocky to drink squash for the next seven weeks, until half-term, after which he must follow the water-only policy.
Ms Lapham, who said it is not the school's place to judge, added: 'You could understand it more if I was giving him Red Bull or Coca Cola, but it is a bit of squash.'
She said her son is not a 'drug addict' and following another discussion with the headteacher she blasted the policy 'ridiculous'.
The school, which boasts its own farm and a horticulture teacher, is often chosen by parents because of its emphasis on health, the headteacher pointed out.
Mr Botten added: 'We are very proud of this culture we have created and therefore look to ensure that our children are taught about healthy diets from an early age.
'Like every other school in the local area, and on the advice of the NHS school nurses, Blackhorse has a long-standing policy of only allowing children to bring water in their water bottles.'
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