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Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Fury as school charges parents for Nativity to fund books for non-English speaking pupils.
A PRIMARY school has defended charging parents to watch their children perform in the nativity play to pay for resources to teach foreign language-speaking children English.
A primary school has defended charging parents to watch their children perform in the nativity play
St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Worcester is reported to be charging £1 per ticket for the three performances by pupils in Key Stage 1, reception and nursery.
The money will be used to pay for bilingual books for the 136 foreign children. The school, which caters for 318 pupils aged between 4-11, has 43.5 per cent who speak English as a second language (EAL).
The children whose second language is English are Polish, Malayalam, Greek, German, Spanish, Slovak, Portuguese, Punjabi, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Tagalog, Filipino, Bengali and Slovenian
Louise Bury, the headmistress, has written a letter to parents saying the charge - which is being levied for the first time - will be spent on resources for the school.
In her letter she explained the reasons behind her decision of charging the parents for the first time.
She said: "I know that for some of you, paying to see your child perform doesn't feel right. With ever-tightening budgets and growing numbers, we saw this as an opportunity to be able to invest in some valuable reading and learning resources for Key Stage 1 and Early Years."
The school is reported to be charging £1 per ticket
According to the headmaster the charge will be spent on resources for the school
Some parents were unhappy with the charge. One, who did not want to be named, said: "If your kid doesn't speak English then surely you should pay for these books and teach your child the language which is used in the school.
"If I lived in Spain or France I wouldn't dream of begging the other parents to pay for my kids to learn their language."
A mother, whose eight-year-old son attends the school, thinks bright children are held back by classmates who are slower to understand English.
"It's not the kids' fault, most of them are absolutely lovely but I blame the parents," she said. "If they don't speak English at home, their kids don't stand a chance.
Ms Bury added that health and safety reasons were also behind introducing a ticketing system for the play at the school in Chedworth Drive, Warndon, as the hall could not fit all the parents in the hall at the same time.