A PRIMARY school in Kent plans to fine parents who turn up late to pick up their children.

Holy Trinity, in Gravesend will issue a £1 charge per pupil every five minutes after 3.40pm.

Social services will also be contacted if a child remains uncollected by 4pm.

So, we have asked people on our social media platforms whether this is a good way of ensuring parental responsibility or, as the unions say, this is a “punitive” approach which helps nobody.

Linda Cross, said on FaceBook: “It should be dealt with on an individual basis.

“Obviously, is some parents are using the school for extended childcare, that’s isn’t right and if it occurs regularly, it needs addressing.

“If a parent has genuine concerns about getting there on time, there are phones.”

Laura Smith argued it should be implemented to parents who are always late.

She added: Not fair to fine or contact Social Services if a parent is late once or twice.

“Although I think involving social services is a bit overkill for lateness.”

Sarah Thomas said: “You would hope before this happened the school have tried to find a way to help a parent.

“One off late because of traffic, car break down, illness or whatever is different to consistently being late.

“If the parent can’t afford the fine then what?

“No parent should be intentionally late treating it as free childcare.

“Cheap after school clubs should be available.”

Jake Bruno, on the other hand, agrees with the plans.

He said: “It seems like a good idea, being held up in traffic or held up at work once in a blue moon isn’t an issue and will only cost you a few quid.

“The parents who take the mick, being late everyday shows a bigger underlying issue, either lack of respect or a lack of care for their child.”

Sally Ware, from Benfleet, said: “It’s right to charge, as school is for teaching not unpaid child minding.

“Of course, sometimes things crop up and you might be a bit late, but surely if the school is contacted in plenty of time, something could be arranged.

“But there are parents who constantly are late picking their kiddies up, this is why the schools are standing ground.”

Jade Marie Relton highlighted the fact that when a child is not collected, staff have to work extra, so there should be a cost implemented to cover the additional staff time.

She said: “If you fail to pick up your pet, or are late back to your car, you pay for the service. Why is your child any different?

“It’s a sad world where schools are having to think of ideas to enforce parental responsibility.

“Parents, with exception of emergencies, should be there to collect their child.

“This shouldn’t need to be encouraged, it should be instinct.”

Sammi Ridley believes it should work both ways, as there are times when parents have to wait after their children, due to a lesson overflowing.

She said: “It needs to work both ways, and it also needs to be fair.

“Sometimes emergencies happen, traffic happens, cars brake down and so on- it’s all about balance.”