Gravesend primary school to fine parents for picking up children late
PUBLISHED: 15:51 16 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:58 16 January 2020
A Gravesend primary school has taken to fining parents every time they are late picking up their children from the gate - plus their tardiness could also be referred to social services.
Denise Gibbs-Naguar is the headteacher of Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School, in Trinity Road, and said it was to protect her overtime budget and prevent the children getting upset.
She decided parents and carers will be fined £1 for each five minutes they are late picking up their charges.
The time the parents should be there is 3.40pm and fines will start kicking in five minutes after that, and only after it is their third time being late.
If they don't show up by 4pm, it is possible she could refer the matter to social services.
Ms Gibbs-Naguar said in a statement: "The late vollection of pupils policy was introduced this week in a bid to ensure all our children are collected from school on time; this is for each individual child's benefit as well as for the whole school's.
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"School finishes at 3.30pm but it is becoming an increasingly regular occurrence to have a significant number of uncollected children still onsite at 4pm. When this occurs a member of staff has to be paid overtime to supervise those children - the school is not able to sustain this ongoing cost without it impacting upon other areas of the school budget and therefore on the children's schooling.
"Additionally, pupils who are collected late often exhibit signs of anxiety and distress as they don't know where their parent/carer is and worry that something may have happened to them.
"Clearly this is not something anyone wants a child to experience.
"As of Monday afternoon, I had not received any correspondence from parents/carers about the policy but I always encourage families to contact me if they would like to discuss anything."
Schools can already fine parents for taking children on holiday during term time.
Government advice here is: "You can only allow your child to miss school if either: they're too ill to go in; you've got advance permission from the school."