Dinner lady accused of 'grooming'

A school dinner lady was warned she could be open to an allegation of grooming for allowing a child to have a biscuit, it was claimed yesterday.

A child at St Mary's Primary School in Brookeborough, Co Fermanagh, had asked if they could have a biscuit and the unnamed woman had told a colleague it was fine to hand the pupil the snack.

The woman's husband said his wife had never been accused of grooming, but claimed the school told her she could have left herself open to the accusation.

After attending a series of meetings with school staff after the incident in 2008, she complained to the governing Western Education and Library Board (WELB).

The Impartial Reporter claimed a report following a probe by the Northern Ireland Ombudsman was critical of the board's handling of the case. A WELB spokesman said: "The board has noted the findings of the ombudsman's report.

"Neither the board nor any of its employees were party to any accusation of grooming against the unit catering supervisor."