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Suffolk: Kersey Primary School denies claims staff “forced” left-handed children to switch knife and fork

15:04 21 March 2014

A Suffolk primary school has denied claims staff forced two left-handed children to switch their knives and forks when they eat.

A Suffolk primary school has denied claims staff forced two left-handed children to switch their knives and forks when they eat.

A Suffolk primary school has denied claims staff forced two left-handed children to switch their knives and forks when they eat.

It was today reported that a parent, who has asked not to be named, lodged a formal complaint over the alleged practice at Kersey Primary School near Ipswich.

He claimed his two youngsters had been told to ignore their natural instincts by lunch supervisors and made to hold their knife in their right hand and fork in their left.

It is alleged the dad said teachers had told him swapping the cutlery helped “improve dexterity” and was part of a child’s “personal, social and health education”.

It was also reported an independent inspector investigated the father’s complaint and found that the school was doing nothing wrong.

However it has also emerged that the father has now allegedly lodged an appeal against that decision and asked the school’s governors to look into the claims.

Responding to the allegations, a spokesman for Kersey Primary School said in a statement: “Staff at the school have never forced any children to eat a certain way.

“We encourage children to use cutlery in a conventional manner – but ultimately it’s a decision for them and their parents.

“This complaint has been independently investigated and the school’s complaint policy followed.

“Kersey is an outstanding Ofsted and SIAMS school and we work closely with all parents to ensure that every child is able to achieve their best in all aspects of education.”

12 comments

  • the parents are right [ being left handed is not being a freak.]

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • SET

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • Re: comment by SET, that's the most ridiculous comment I've ever heard! Surely the fact that the child is eating a healthy meal is more important than what hand they are holding their fork in....we live in 2014 not 1914, it's not silver service dining in schools. I can honestly say, working as an MDSA that this is not something that ever crosses my mind to check when I'm working......children's happiness and behaviour is more my concern, rather than forcing a child to do something other than what comes naturally to them!

    Report this comment

    StarReader

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • I feel a compensation claim coming up soon!

    Report this comment

    N M

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • part two , with a meal like that i would not bother using a knife fork or spoon.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • We are hearing more and more that Heads are in despair that children are entering school not able to use a knife and fork, not toilet trained, with poor vocabulary and social skillls. Dexterity is being lost because they are not taught how to do buttons laces, but spend time on mums mobile or stuck in front of telly. Learning table manners and eating properly is important, hardly terrible to see if a child can be dexterous in both. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Dad making too much fuss about all this.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Sunday, March 23, 2014

  • Re: comment by SET, that's the most ridiculous comment I've ever heard! Surely the fact that the child is eating a healthy meal is more important than what hand they are holding their fork in....we live in 2014 not 1914, it's not silver service dining in schools. I can honestly say, working as an MDSA that this is not something that ever crosses my mind to check when I'm working......children's happiness and behaviour is more my concern, rather than forcing a child to do something other than what comes naturally to them!

    Report this comment

    StarReader

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • part two , with a meal like that i would not bother using a knife fork or spoon.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • I thought that this type of corrective action went out with the ark. I am left handed and remember when I was at primary school (50 odd years ago) I used to have my knuckles hit with a ruler for picking things up with my left hand or writing left-handed. It didn't work as I still am predominantly left handed and proud of it. My wife is left handed and two of my sons also left handed. Many clever high profile people are left handed including US Presidents and top scientists. We have to adapt everything we do to use right handed tools so in my opinion left-handed people have the edge! I also agree with other posters on this that the meal shown is a very meagre portion and would hope that the children are not too hungry after eating it

    Report this comment

    BRIPS

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • I'm left handed but eat in the conventional manner for a right handed person. I only found out I was eating incorrectly during one cookery lesson at high school when I was told off for setting the table up the wrong way (in my eyes, the right way...fork on the left, knife on the right). When I queried what on earth the teacher was on about, it was then I was told that as a left handed person, I should have them the opposite way around. My brother and my eldest son are right handed...they eat left handed. In my opinion, left or right handed, a person should eat in whatever way they feel most comfortable, not just because they happen to be more dominant with a particular hand.

    Report this comment

    Sue cuthbert

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • RE: StarReader. I completely agree, it is more important they are eating a healthy meal. All I am saying is that this parent should have more pressing issues to be concerned about and that it is not something the teachers look out for and enforce as it is not their job. Like you said, we live in 2014, not 1914. Parents should parent, teachers should teach but unfortunately, there are more and more parents causing unnecessary problems for schools that they really don't need as their jobs are hard enough as it is.

    Report this comment

    SET

    Friday, March 21, 2014

  • There's nothing wrong with being left handed but it is good manors to hold the fork in your left hand, your knife in your right hand and keep your elbows off the table. I am right handed and I seem to remember being forced to change my cutlery over as I felt it natural to have the fork in my right hand...therefore, would it not be more natural for left handed people to hold the cutlery in the correct manor? Now, I have got used to eating with cutlery in the correct manor and if I was to be so lucky to be invited for dinner with the Royal family, I would like to think I would not disgrace myself. Maybe parents should hols their complaining for something a bit more worth while. Teachers aren't allowed to parent for you now so their discipline, respect and manors are to be taught by the parents. Back not so long ago, your child might have got the cane for not eating correctly, just be thankful.

    Report this comment

    SET

    Friday, March 21, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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