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26th Jan 2024

Parents furious over ‘draconian’ €7 fee if they are late to picking kids up from school

Nina McLaughlin

A new proposed measure at one school has been met with furious backlash from parents

A primary school in the UK has faced backlash after introducing a £6 (€7) charge for parents who are late to picking their kids up.

St Peter’s Church of England Primary School proposed back in January to introduce a fee to change parents if they are late to picking their kids up.

The school, which is located in Folkstone in Kent, explained that it was in order to stop late parents creating extra work for teachers.

“An increasing number of children are being collected late at the end of the day, without the office being informed or any apology to staff,” the school’s headteacher, Toni Browne, wrote in a letter to parents.

“Staff have work to complete once children have been dismissed.

“Arriving late to collect your child prevents staff from being able to get on with their work.

“From Term 2, children who are collected late from school on more than one occasion will be put into after school club – and a fee of £6.00 will apply.

“We understand that occasionally lateness can’t be avoided.

“In these cases it is important you call the school office, so we know you are running late.”

The primary school said that since they announced the plans, parents’ lateness has reduced, and they have not issued any fines.

“I think it’s so unfair.”

A representative confirmed that no parents have complained directly to the school, but it has caused uproar among the wider parenting community.

“I think it’s so unfair. Sometimes parents can’t help being late,” one mum told The Sun.

“Every parent wants to pick their kid up from school on time. If they can’t, there’s a genuine reason for it.

“Some people can’t afford these fees. It’s too much, especially at the moment.

“£6 is a lot of money to some people – especially if they have to pay it more than once.

“They should try and be a bit more understanding. With the cost of living crisis, we’re paying enough for stuff.”

She added: “That money could be spent on the children, for food and clothes and stuff that’s actually needed.”

Another parent said: “Hitting them with a financial penalty is a bit rough.

“I understand that they’ve got to make sure teachers can get on with marking and stuff.

“But there’s always extenuating circumstances.”

Kent County Council confirmed that no parents had been charged yet as of 24 January.

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