One of my pet hates when it comes to parental complaints is cooking, food technology or as it is called in some schools cuisine engagement. Whatever!
No matter what happens I always seem to have my pigeon hole, inbox or even hand delivered in person the remnants of a poorly completed family meal prepared in the students home economics lesson.
This week of course I encountered another complaint after the first round of food technology lessons. I unfortunately received the following email that very evening following the lesson. Here is the actual email more or less word for word.
First of all let me congratulate you on the new toilets that you have renovated, they are much better than they used to be although I do think they could have been painted in a much more appropriate colour.
Unfortunately I am writing to you to complain regarding my daughters food technology lesson. We were very excited to hear that she would be making risotto in lesson and therefore took the opportunity to not prepare any dinner for the family this evening. I spent the whole of last weekend shopping for all the ingredients and having to pay for all of these additional ingredients. We were left angry and hungry this evening when we sat down to eat our meal to find that it wasn’t cooked properly and tasted raw in parts. I am now worried that we will all wake up ill tomorrow morning because of it. Can you please make sure that your teachers teach these things properly. This is a serious health and safety issue that has now cost us both financially and medically.”
I won’t include the last bit, it was a bit too much information. After investigating the issue with the said food teacher he informed me that the students were told to cook the risotto for the remaining 15 minutes before serving it up to their families, the student just forgot to do this part.
This parent is one of the problem parents that I face so I have decided to invite her in to talk about this as I will improve my chances of success if I can use my charm face to face. The only potential issue is that last time I met her regarding her son’s poor behaviour in Maths she spent 45 minutes telling me about all of her marital problems. Is this part of being a Headteacher? To sit and listen to the difficulties she is experiencing in her relationship? To offer advice on how to make a marriage work? I am no expert but that is one of the joys of Headship that basically in a strange way you may be the only person that she can talk to about this. So you listen and try to help and then go home worrying about the advice you have offered.
Have you had any culinary disasters at school? I would love to hear about them.