Teachers at Holy Trinity C of E Primary, in Gravesend, could ring social services if the children are still waiting to be collected at 4pm and if parents can’t be reached, children will be accepted into the responsibility of the local authority.
The new policy to prevent even a ten minute late pick up has left parents angry and has been dubbed a disgrace and parents of the school are astounded and shocked to receive this announcement from the school.
Gravesend is a deprived area and numerous parents struggle to work due to the cost of childcare.
Many schools finish about the same time and this means that it’s a struggle for parents to get to their children on time.
The school used to let children wait in the library then were told the library was closed for refurbishments.
The school did offer an after school club a few years ago but this was then closed by the headteacher with little warning because it didn’t make enough money.
The letter from the school said that if children weren’t picked up by 4pm the school would ring social services and the fact that the governors have agreed to impose this disgraceful thing is shameful because it’s meant to be a Christian school.
And it’s shameful that the headteacher cares more about making money out of struggling parents than supporting the community.
The Late Collection of Pupils Policy was introduced in an effort to guarantee all the children were collected from school on time and the school said that this was for each individual child’s benefit as well as for the entire school.
The school finishes at 3.30pm but it was becoming a frequent daily occurrence to have a significant number of uncollected children still on site at 4pm and the school stated that when this happens members of staff have to be paid overtime to supervise those children and that the school isn’t able to support this continuing cost without it affecting upon other areas of the school’s resources and hence on the children’s education.
And now the school is saying that pupils that are collected late usually display signs of agitation and anxiety as they don’t know where their parent or carer is and despair that something may have happened to them.
So, now children’s parents will have to set up informal groups for a designated person to take children home with their own children, without the ability to run official checks on them.
There will always be problems at this time of the day, but that doesn’t make these parents bad parents but then perhaps teachers should try and work in an industry where workers don’t get the luxury of the number of holidays these teachers get, then they might know what a job is, especially having to do 10 or 12-hour shifts, then they might not be so keen to then charge parents for being late to pick up their children.
And not all children get into the same school as their siblings, so which child do you pick up first?
The problem is more and more schools in the United Kingdom are becoming harsh dictators and they should be penalised proportionately for their anti-social ways, after all, who do they think they are?
It’s understandable that schools are cash strapped and most can’t afford after school clubs and they should be given more money by the government because there are many parents who have to work and can’t always get to the school on time. The government want people to work but they’re not willing to support these parents in any circumstances and there are numerous children who really like going to after school clubs and there are parents who are willing to pay for that service.
And ringing Social Services is a tad over the top because they’re already grossly overburdened and schools should take funded provision for after-hours cover, it works elsewhere and if the school can’t get the funding then why don’t they ask parents who don’t work to volunteer to run the after school club. They would need a police check but there are numerous mums out there who would happily volunteer their time to help out.