Teacher failed to tell mother of lost life-saving drug
The girl, who came to no harm because of the incident, had a severe allergy to oranges, England's General Teaching Council was told. She could have suffered anaphylactic shock and died had she come into contact with the fruit.
Alison Webb, the teacher, was accused of causing an unnecessary risk to the pupil's health by not telling the parent about the loss.
The disciplinary committee was told that Mrs Webb failed to explain to the girl's mother in 2004 that the Epipen, an emergency shot of adrenalin, had been lost and that a replacement was needed urgently at Sacred Heart RC primary at Thornton-Clevelys in Lancashire during 2004.
The mother was simply asked to provide a new Epipen, without being told that the school had no access to one in the meantime. She did not provide a replacement until several days later because she was unaware of the urgency.
Mrs Webb said: "I can understand how the mother felt and if I caused her any anxiety, that is my biggest regret. I assumed the parent would bring the Epipen the next day and the matter would be cleared up."
Ann Bleasdale, the present headteacher of Sacred Heart, said that denying the pupil immediate medication could have been seen as a "life or death"
situation. "Mrs Webb's behaviour indicated a cavalier approach to the child's welfare," said Ms Bleasdale. "The pupil's condition is extremely rare and all staff were aware of it."
Mrs Webb received a written warning from the school last June and has since taken another job. The committee heard that Mrs Webb was instructed by the acting head at the time to ask the parent to provide a new Epipen but not to tell her they had lost it.
Andrew Faux, presenting officer, said: "Mrs Webb did what she was told to do, but what she was told to do was wrong. You were fearful of further repercussions from the child's mother and wanted to be safe from any future difficulty."
Mrs Webb was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct, but no sanction was imposed.