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16 January 2020, 10:42 | Updated: 16 January 2020, 10:50
Parents will be charged if they turn up late to collect their children from school.
Teachers at Holy Trinity CofE Primary in Kent are taking drastic action to ensure their kids are collected on time, as parents will now be charged for being late.
Under its new policy introduced this week, the school have said they might even call social services if pupils aren’t picked up before 4pm.
If parents can’t be contacted, children could be admitted into the care of the local authority. But this will only come into force they've been late three times.
The crackdown is a bid to deter parents from picking their children up even 10 minutes late, which is anytime after 3.40pm.
It’s also said to also cover the costs of paying teachers who are forced to stay behind late to supervise the youngsters.
Parents are fuming over the new rules, with one anonymous person saying they were ‘shocked’ at the policy and branding it ‘a disgrace’.
Speaking to Kent Online, they said: "As parents of the school we were shocked and appalled to receive this notification from the school.
"Gravesend is a deprived area and many parents struggle to work due to the cost of childcare.
"Lots of schools finish around the same time and this means that it is a struggle to get kids on time.”
The parent went on to say the kids used to be allowed to stay in an afterschool club, but this was unexpectedly closed by the head teacher “because it didn't make enough money.”
They continued: "We think the fact that the governors have agreed to impose this is disgraceful and must be illegal.
Before adding: "It's a shame the head teacher cares more about making money out of struggling parents then helping out the community."
Headteacher at Holy Trinity CE Primary School, Denise Gibbs-Naguar has since defended the new policy.
She said: “The Late Collection 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.
“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.”
Heart has reached out to Holy Trinity CofE Primary for comment.