School to charge parents if pupils are picked up late

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An infant school in one of the most deprived areas of the city is charging parents if they fail to collect their children on time.

Last week it was revealed that Emerson Valley Primary School had adopted a policy of handing out £60 fixed penalty fines to parents of pupils who miss morning registration 10 times in a 12-week term.

Now Germander Park School in Conniburrow has told parents that they will be charged £6 per hour if they fail to collect their children on time at the end of the day.

On Friday, the day after Emerson Valley School made national headlines for enforcing its policy, children at Germander Park were given letters informing parents and carers they will be charged for being late.

It stated: “Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly frequent that some parents are collecting children late from school. May we remind you that school finish time is 3pm daily and you should be at school prompt to collect your child at this time.

“We understand that occasionally emergencies do arise and appreciate this can lead to the late collection of children. If you have a genuine emergency and know you will be late collecting your child, it is ESSENTIAL you let the school know.

“However, for those parents who collect their child late from school without giving a valid reason, we will be introducing a childcare charge in line with other childcare providers, of £6 per hour if your child remains in school after 3.15pm. This charge will be collected by the school office on the day.”

Despite issuing the letter last week, the school’s chairman of governors, Gemma Carter, insisted the policy has been in place since 2011. However, some parents told the Citizen they were not aware of it, and have voiced concerns.

“What are they going to do next?” said one disgruntled parent. “I found the letter in my four-year-old son’s bag. I’m not sure that was the best way to inform parents.

“Conniburrow is not a rich place. People on benefits might not be able to pay the fines and then what are they going to do?

“They don’t see it from the parents’ point of view. I have children in three different schools across Milton Keynes, I can’t be in all those places at the same time and sometimes I’ll be delayed.”

Germander Park School, which currently has no permanent headteacher, was judged ‘good’ after its most recent Ofsted inspection in March 2013.