A primary school in Solihull has been forced to scrap it’s cows milk or water scheme after following a vegan dad’s fight for inclusion of plant-based alternatives.
Paul Roberts sought to change the policy in September 2020 after his 5-year-old daughter Sofia was told she could only have cow’s milk as part of the school’s milk scheme.
Roberts’ battle started after Sofia was banned from bringing soya milk into class at Cranmore Infant School.
Moreover, the school initially disregarded Roberts’ suggestions to include plant-based alternatives to the school’s milk scheme.
Paul was desperate for dairy-free Sofia, along with a fellow dairy intolerant student, to be able to enjoy milk time with her classmates.
Despite numerous attempts and discussions with Cranmore School staff, and even the governing body, Paul was turned down.
Furthermore, the stress of the case began to weigh on the vegan dad, causing Roberts to suffer from anxiety and insomnia as Sofia continued to miss out.
Following this, Paul was advised to contact Dr Jeanette Rowley, Vegan Rights Advocate and Chair of the International Rights Network at The Vegan Society, who supports and advocates for individual vegans in need of assistance.
Subsequently, Dr. Rowley and Roberts submitted a letter outlining the legalities of the situation to the schools governing body.
As a result, the school permitted Sofia to have soya milk in school, as well as forcing the school to review its cow’s milk or water only scheme.
“I hope others can benefit from our fight”
After the win, Roberts shared with The Vegan Society: “Getting in touch with The Vegan Society and working closely with Jeanette was the best thing we ever did.
“Not only does my Sofia get to have her soya milk but the school are even subsidising it too.”
Roberts explained how the nine-month battle was “emotionally draining,” but explained: “I just hope others can benefit from our fight and parents and children in the school understand that they too have a freedom of choice.”
In addition, Dr. Rowley commented: “I am delighted with the outcome of Mr Roberts’ long running case.
“Sofia, and other pupils, can now drink a plant-based alternative to cow’s milk while at school, and, in the context of inclusion, the school will now examine the way it promotes cow’s milk.”
Rowley concluded: “The Vegan Society will always do what it can to help vegans, or those transitioning to or considering veganism.
“I’m delighted that we were able to secure for Paul and Sofia the outcomes they are entitled to.”
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