Mum slams school for threatening to report late kids to welfare authority

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock 

A mother has criticised her child's school for sending a message that was "a bit extreme" to parents, saying their would be reported to welfare authorities if their kids were repeatedly late.

Ysgol Cymerau, a primary school in North Wales, came under fire from the mum, who called for understanding about family circumstances.

Parents received an email from Principal Helen Vaughan-Jones reminding them that "Punctuality is a good practice to nurture," after an increase in late arrivals to school.

She warned, "If this happens regularly, we are obliged to contact the parents and the local authority's Welfare Officer".

She told The Daily Post

"I understand that kids need to be at school on time but sometimes things go wrong and life happens, especially if you're a single parent or have to get more than one child up and ready and take them to different places like a child minder or a nursery."

She added that sometimes it's out of parents' hands.

"It's not always the parents' fault either. Sometimes it could be a grandparent or another relative taking the child to school while the parents are at work."

She also said it should work both ways, citing that her child often late out of class by up to 15 minutes.

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"If parents and guardians are going to be penalised for being late then the school also need to look at themselves, as the kids are never out of school at 3pm."

She explained, "I have been late a couple of times when dropping my child off, but only by about five minutes, and the door to his classroom has only just been shut. Whereas I've had to wait until 3:15pm on several occasions when collecting him, even though they're meant to be out by 3pm."

Meredydd Carwyn of Gwynnedd Council said this was a normal process for lateness in Welsh schools.

"As is customary throughout the country, when there is a pattern of pupils arriving late for school they will write to the family to remind them of the need to be at school on time. If this pattern continues, the school will contact the Education Authority's Welfare Officer to discuss the matter directly with the family."

Commenters on social media voiced their opinions for both sides of the coin.

One mum wrote, "Often it's the buses being late or not turning up at all!. Some kids have to get 2 buses to make the journey to their school, especially senior school children. Kids shouldn't be penalised when it's not their fault and a lot of them leave home early to make the journey."

Another responded, "I totally get the need for punctuality but seriously sometimes it can't be helped. Children don't always do as their told and get ready when told. If we have to drive or use public transport this is also something we can't control. Enough pressure is put on parents as it is regarding education and attendance. Give everyone a break!"

Others said that parents need to pull their finger out.

"What is wrong with people? If school starts at nine then get your child there for that time. Everyone has the occasional problem but the school will accept that. However if children are consistently late then the school has to report it."

"We are setting our children up for working life being on time is an important life skill."

"It's not extreme when you have kids showing up late disturbing other pupils' learning. How many parents don't even try to get kids to school on time?"