Portsmouth school’s mistaken ‘halal’ note sparks parents’ fury

The note sent out by mistake by Milton Park School
The note sent out by mistake by Milton Park School

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A PRIMARY school said a note sent to parents saying it will stop serving pork to children was sent out by mistake.

But angry parents had already taken their concerns online and set up a petition condemning Milton Park Primary School on change.org where more than 3,000 people have joined.

Milton Park Primary School, in Eastney Road, Portsmouth, sent a note which read: ‘We have a new menu for school dinners starting on April 20, 2015.

‘Please be assured there is no pork on the menu and the sausages served are halal chicken.’

But the school said the note was sent out in error.

Headteacher Julie Smith said: ‘We’re still serving pork as a meat option, but also offering halal chicken sausages.

‘We have a wonderful multicultural school and happy to cater for everyone.

‘This means all children have a choice whether they’re vegetarian, have religious views or taste preferences.

‘The note was sent in error and doesn’t reflect school policy.’

Katie Rogers, 26, has two children who go to the school and said she is glad the rule is not being enforced.

But she also said she is confused by the note as the menu for the next three weeks does not include pork.

She said: ‘I’m not against the religion, and people should have a choice of what they eat.

‘My children enjoy eating the meat, so they should have that choice.

‘My five-year-old girl loves the pork hotpot, so why should she go without that?

‘Also my six-year-old boy is a fussy eater and likes the pork sausages.

‘I have tried chicken sausages at home and he doesn’t like them.

I think there should be free choice for everyone.’

She added: ‘I’m pleased the school is going back on this.

‘They may have sent the message out in error, but looking at the menu for the next three weeks, there isn’t any pork on it.’

There are a handful of schools in Portsmouth that do serve a pork-free menu to cater for children of different faiths.

Eating pork is prohibited under both the Muslim and Jewish faiths.

St Jude’s Church of England Primary School in Old Portsmouth, is one such school.

Portsmouth City Council was unable to say which other schools also do.