School ‘lollipop ban’ condemned by parents


PARENTS are furious after a school ordered them to stop putting lollipops in children’s packed lunches over safety fears.

Teachers at Holy Family Primary in Mossend, North Lanarkshire, sent a text message to parents last week with the request.

Campaigners say the order, imposed so children don’t choke on the sweets, is “the nanny state gone mad”.

One mum, who asked not to be named, said lollipops were the latest in a long line of items effectively banned.

The mother said: “This is bonkers. After all, kids have been eating lollipops at school for years.

“The children are allowed to bring maths sets into school, with sharp compasses inside, yet they’re not allowed a lollipop?

“I’m wondering where this is going to end. Are they going to ban pencils and paintbrushes next?”




But the school’s headteacher Elaine Johnston has denied imposing an all-out ban, saying parents were asked to think about not giving children lollipops for health reasons.

She said: “They are both a potential choke hazard and a risk to children’s dental health.

“Therefore, in the interests of the health and welfare of their children, we’re asking parents for their support.”

Dr Anthony Freeman, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: “We would certainly agree this sounds like the nanny state gone mad.

“Parents respect for schools – and professionals such as teachers – gets gradually eaten away when schools act like this.”

His colleague Katie Ivens added: “Schools sould keep their focus on teaching children properly and never mind about lollipops.”



But Siobhan Freegard, founder of website Netmums, said: “At first glance this may seem like political correctness gone mad, but there is actually sound thinking behind it.

“Sadly, there have been recent cases of young children chocking to death on lollipops, and dentists have reported injuries from sticks becoming detached and wedged into children’s mouths and throats.

“If you give your child a lollipop at home, it’s likely you are there to watch over them when they eat it and make sure they stay safe.

“But in a busy dining hall or playground, teachers are caring for hundreds of kids and can’t give everyone individual attention.

“Parents should remember schools don’t ban things without a reason.

“It’s far better to have a ban on something in school hours than a tragedy with an impact that lasts a lifetime.”

A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Council said the Holy Family Primary’s stance is likely to be copied by other schools in the local authority.


  1. It was with shock, disappointment and disbelief that I read your article on Sunday 10 February about a school, Holy Family Primary, apparently banning lollipops!
    I feel that I must inform you as a former native of Mossend and a friend of many families who have children in this wonderful school that the anonymous (and cowardly) person has given a very false image of the Head Teacher and no mention of the wonderful work done on a daily basis that is very much appreciated by the majority of the community.
    It appears to me that mrs Johnston had simply made parents aware that she would like their support rather than set a ban!
    I feel quite disgusted that you would print an article without mentioning all the good done for the children on a daily basis but would rather focus on what any responsible adult would agree made good sense. Children should not be running around a playground with a lollipop in their mouth!
    Why are we only able to read about complaints and target people rather than praise for the countless things they do for the better? My question is certainly not about the so called nanny culture but about why you are willing to attack an individual who has clearly done no wrong.
    I suggest an apology should be made to Mrs Johnston and her wonderful staff and school.

    Michelle Gault

  2. Mrs. Johnstone is quite right to ask parents to think about the dangers of children running about with lollypops in their mouths…better to be wise before a tragedy occurs. Accidents involving lollypops can cause choking or can damage soft tissue in the throat…can you imagine the outcry if a child died because of a lolly?

  3. After my 4 year old son nearly died after choking on a lollipop that got detached from the stick and lodged in his throat I couldn’t agree more.

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