The Importance of a Second Chance



Our students must see that we are all human and make mistakes. Likewise, they should be aware that it isn’t making a mistake that makes one a failure, but rather an ability to learn from our mistakes.

I feel great sympathy for this woman’s mistake and I believe that had she been given another chance a more positive message would have been sent to students about the opportunities presented with a second chance:

A primary school dinner lady has been sacked for accidentally serving pork to a Muslim pupil.

Alison Waldock, 51, ‘forgot’ the seven-year-old dietary needs when she asked if the schoolgirl wanted gammon and the youngster said yes.

The school’s headteacher spotted the mistake as the youngster was about to tuck into the meat and swept the plate away from her.

The girl’s parents were then told how close their daughter had come to eating the meat, which is banned in their religion.

They complained to the school’s catering firm and Ms Waldock, a dinner lady for 11 years, was suspended pending an investigation.

She insisted she had made an honest mistake and had simply lost track of all the dietary requirements of the children at Queen Edith Primary School in Cambridge.

But she was dismissed a month later for gross misconduct due to ‘negligence, carelessness or idleness’.

Ms Waldock, a mother-of-two, said: ‘I feel the school and catering company made me a scapegoat so they can’t be seen as politically incorrect.

‘I was really upset when I found out what I’d done. I’d never have done something like this on purpose. It was a simple mistake – I was so gutted with the school’s reaction.


Click on the link to read I Also Had a Student Hold a Toy Gun to my Face

Click on the link to read Who is Going to Stand Up For Bullied Teachers?

Click on the link to read 12 Tips for Managing Time in the Classroom

Click on the link to read If Teachers Were Paid More I Wouldn’t Have Become One

Click on the link to read Different Professions, Same Experiences

Click on the link to read Our Pay Isn’t the Problem



Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “The Importance of a Second Chance”

  1. Peter Buckley Says:

    UKIP leader Nigel Farage has promised to take up Alison’s cause. He said: “I feel desperately sorry for her. If she’d served gammon to a vegetarian would she have been fired? I think not.”

    Another good reason to vote UKIP:

  2. John Tapscott Says:

    Scapegoating is common these days. A community college where I worked had 3 principals. There was a college principal, a primary school principal and a high school principal. The college principal and the high school principal didn’t see eye to eye. The college was beset with problems due to socio-economic issues that manifested in behaviour and attendance problems. The state mandated curriculum was rigorously enforced despite being irrelevant for the students, with the irrelevance increasing as students accumulated failure to learn in each successive year.

    The decision was taken to restructure the college, rather than adjust the curriculum. It was pretended that teachers were to have a say in the restructure but every teacher’s submission was ignored. A review was conducted and because problems accumulated the high school appeared to be quite dysfunctional. Nobody in authority recognised that the problems were of a foundational nature and the assumption was taken that the primary school was sound but the high school was failing. The restructure was purely a cost saving exercise which was planned to leave the primary school and the high school each under the charge of a deputy principal and the college principal was to remain in overall charge.

    The primary school principal was transferred to another school as principal. The high school principal was made the scapegoat and placed on a principal improvement program, with which he fully co-operated. The result of that was that he was considered a failure and was demoted. Following an appeal to an employees tribunal the principal was reinstated albeit at another school and at a lower level. Those responsible for his being scapegoated got off scot free.

    Nobody will ever know the truth of what had really happened. There was very little transparency and the review of the school was headed by a departmental officer whose name does not appear on the final report.

    There is no second chance for a scapegoat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: