By Alex Winter, @Winter_Alex

A DORSET school has been accused of "scaremongering" after a headteacher sent a letter to parents over the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

Jackie Shanks, head of Mountjoy School in Beaminster, said to parents that her school had purchased an additional freezer in case of food shortages. The school will also increase stocks of canned food and long-life products.

Ms Shanks, whose school caters for pupils aged between two to 19 with special needs, also urged parents to contact their GPs to ensure their children have enough medicine for the feared crisis.

And she said that her teaching staff will car share to work in the coming weeks in case of a fuel shortage brought about by Brexit.

Ms Shanks also warned of a possible increase in hate crime and civil unrest stemming from a no-deal Brexit that could affect her students.

The letter, that was issued to parents last week, provoked a backlash from people after it was shared on social media. Many said it was "scaremongering".

Ms Shanks said the letter was sent to parents to tell them what the school was doing in response to a risk register made public by Dorset Council.

“Dorset council sent through a risk register for the event of a no-deal Brexit. It was sent to headteachers but is currently available on its website,” she said.

“So, as a responsible school, we looked at that and we passed relevant information on and what we would do to minimise and mitigate for any negative effects that were within our powers.

“Risks that are pertinent to the operation of Mountjoy School include potential medicine and food shortages alongside other things, so what we said, to address any of those potential shortages, we bought an additional freezer for school meals to cover short-term issues.

“What we said to the parents was they may want to contact their GP to make sure they do have enough medicines because as a responsible school, our children, some of them rely on medicines to stay alive.”

Originally published in the Bournemouth Echo

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