Row after kids made to stand in the cold

A ROW has erupted at an Ipswich primary school after a headteacher warned children who turn up late for class they face standing out in the cold.

A ROW has erupted at an Ipswich primary school after a headteacher warned children who turn up late for class they face standing out in the cold.

Parents have voiced their anger at the new method of enforcing punctuality at Whitton Community Primary School, whereby youngsters have to wait outside the entrance until a member of staff collects them.

Heidi Meadows said she was disgusted that her daughters have been made to wait outside on more than one occasion.

As of last week, children are no longer allowed to stand inside the school reception if they arrive later than 8.55am and instead but must stay outside until signed in by a member of staff.

Mrs Meadows was so incensed by the news that she took daughters Alisha, nine, and Isabelle, four, out of school for the day.

She said: “I and several other parents who have been late and will probably be late again on occasion are disgusted that we've been told the children have to learn a lesson that being late is unacceptable.

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“I just missed the bell and could see children standing outside the reception so I took my daughters inside and told the secretary that I wasn't allowing my children to stand outside.

“I was told they had to stand outside till they were signed in so I brought my children home.

“I'm disappointed the headteacher didn't bother sending home a letter explaining this new rule of hers or that she can't even get up out of her cosy office to discuss our concerns face to face.”

However, headteacher Ann Taylor said: “We welcome all children through various entrances when the school starts at 9am but children who are late are met by a member of staff who walks them round to their entrance.

“If there is a problem, we are willing to listen and talk and come to some sort of arrangement, but the message the children need to get is that being late will unsettle themselves, their classmates and their teachers.

“We have a new main entrance which has been built to make the school more secure but it is not an entrance for the children - it is for visitors and parents.

“If we opened it up to children we would be absolutely swamped with everyone coming in at the same time. If we did, it would be giving them a little kudos and they will think they can be late every day.”

Do you agree with the school's stance on lateness? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk