Parents slam school for 'no pay no play' policy that splits rich and poor kids in the playground

Angry parents have launched a petition against a school that they claim has introduced a “no pay no play” scheme that has seen children split into groups of those who have paid and those who haven’t.

Parents of children at Wednesbury Oak Academy in the West Midlands say the school has introduced a £6-a-year charge for play equipment bought for use at lunchtime.

But they say a “no pay no play” policy has led to children being split in the playground into those whose parents can afford to and those who can’t.

Angry parents have launched a petition – which has so far received more than 750 signatures – calling for the scheme to be discontinued so all children can play together.

The petition says the parent council had previously voices concerns at the idea that “if they don’t pay, they can’t play”, preferring to allow all children to play, no matter how much money was raised by each class.

<em>Angry – Parents at Wednesbury Oak Academy say the scheme could provoke bullying and social exclusion (Picture: Google Street View)</em>
Angry – Parents at Wednesbury Oak Academy say the scheme could provoke bullying and social exclusion (Picture: Google Street View)

But it said when the scheme was rolled out on Wednesday, January 3, the playground was separated into groups of “paid ” and “unpaid” students.

“This has caused outright disgust from children, Parents, grandparents, staff and such like,” the petition says.

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It adds: “The parents that have paid and parents that haven’t are totally against the separation of the children as this can cause upset, bullying and social exclusion amongst other things.

“We therefore request the “scheme” to be discontinued as its just not something that any of us wish to be associated with.

“Please sign our petition so that ALL OUR CHILDREN at wednsbury oak academy can play together. All should play or none at all.”

But the school’s headteacher Maria Bull defended the move and told she was “on the verge of calling the police” over threats she had received from angry parents.

She said buying the equipment had been the parent council’s idea and said there were no parents at the school who can’t afford the £6 cost, which she said amounts to “just 15 pence per week” and said it was possible for a child whose parents had contributed to invite a friend that hadn’t paid to come and play with the toys.

(Top picture: Getty)

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