A six-year-old boy’s parents say he is not allowed to join after-school maths and reading clubs – because they are NOT on benefits.
Cara McCormick says she tried to sign son Thomas up for reading, maths, computer and homework clubs at the Oliver Tomkins School in Swindon, Wiltshire, but was told he wasn’t eligible because she and his stepfather don’t claim benefits.
Cara, 25, said: “I was quite taken aback. It is strange. If you want the best for your children and they are offering these clubs what is the difference?
“It should be for all children, surely. I thought those children would need it more because the parents tend to work long hours and don’t always have the time to sit down with their children.
“I feel there is discrimination.”
Cara, who said she and Thomas’ stepfather Steve only claim child benefit and working tax credit, said her friend’s grandchild was told the same thing as she was about the clubs.
Steve said: “Last year he [Thomas] went to football club and other clubs. This year we put him down for four separate clubs but my partner got told that because we were not on benefits he could not go to any of them.
“He is a bright lad and we just want him to get the best opportunities. It is bizarre. You want to give your kids as much of a boost as possible.”
The 35-year-old, a qualified careers officer and former policeman, is re-training as a gas engineer.
He added: “I didn’t have those opportunities. I left school with nothing. But life has to be about opportunity and Thomas should have an opportunity.
“How can you penalise working families and their children?”
Headteacher Rhian Cockwell said she would be talking to Thomas’s mother about the issue.