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School sends crying kids home because of missed meeting
CHILDREN were left in tears when they were turned away from school on their first day because their parents had failed to turn up for two meetings.
As many as nine children were banned from Briscoe Primary School, in Felmores End, Pitsea, yesterday, because their parents had not attended two information sessions ahead of the start of term.
The youngsters will now have to sit at home for a week until their parents can attend a rearranged session. The children will be then allowed into school next Tuesday.
The information sessions cover ed everything from child protection issues to the national curriculum.
Kaily Barnard, 38, of Bockingham Green, Felmores, said: “I only attended one of the sessions. The second one I just completely forgot about. But they never wrote to us and told us our child’s start could be delayed.
“I got my son dressed and took him to the school – I didn’t think they would turn him away at the gate while he was in his uniform – but a teacher said his name was on a list of children who were not allowed in.
“I missed one session, but it’s not like I would have come away with a BSC in pre-school science.
“My son is not traumatised, but some of the children were.
“There are decent parents at that school and the head is trying to make an example of us. She can do that if she wants, but not at the expense of my four-yearold son.”
Briscoe holds four sessions for parents of children starting at the nursery and reception school and two of them, covering health and safety, child protection and the curriculum, are compulsory.
One mum-of-four said three of her children were left devastated after being turned away from the school gates and claimed she had lost her new job because she will have to stay at home and mind the children another week.
The mum, who asked not to be named, said: “I didn’t get to the meeting, but my children have already been at nursery at the school and I’d had a home visit from the teachers so I didn’t think it was necessary.
“It’s just awful. My children are in floods of tears over it and I’ve lost my job now, as I had to tell my employer I couldn’t start because I have to care for my children another week.”
THE woman in charge of Briscoe has defended the decision to turn several children away at the school gates.
Debbie Rogan, executive headteacher, said the school was only following the policy set out by the Hearts Academy Trust, which it is part of, that states parents must attend two compulsory sessions with school staff before children start at its nursery or infants.
She said the sessions cover vital topics such as the health and safety of their children and the school building, the curriculum, safeguarding, the complaints procedure, attendance and academic progress.
Mrs Rogan said the sessions were arranged during the school holidays and parents who couldn’t make the first date were invited to attend on a second date.
She said those who failed to attend on that date were warned by phone call, letter and text message on “several occasions”
by school staff that their children would not be allowed to attend their first day of school, yesterday.
The head said the school had been forced to arrange a third date for those parents who did not attend, which will be held next Monday.
Once parents have attended that session their children will be allowed to start at the school next Tuesday.
Mrs Rogan said: “Our office staff told parents on several occasions that their children would not be allowed to start on Monday.
“It is not the policy of the school, it is the policy of the Hearts Academy Trust.
“I find it very startling and I am mystified by the fact that parents have made the choice not to attend these sessions.
“My biggest sympathy is with the children and we are disappointed they have not been able to start along with the other pupils.
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