Charging for late collection of children in primary school

(21 Posts)
JanineBr Fri 05-Jul-13 10:49:09

Does anyone know of a successful challenge to schools charging for the late collection of children?

NarkyNamechanger Fri 05-Jul-13 10:50:05

Why do you want to challenge it? Just collect on time.

RubberDuck Fri 05-Jul-13 10:51:25

Don't do it - I know of a complete failure of charging for late collection of children for nursery schools - it changes the contract away from a social dynamic and people start treating it like a "fee" for extra childcare rather than a fine. People started collecting later and this carried on long after the fine was eventually removed. I'll find the paper on it in a mo.

RubberDuck Fri 05-Jul-13 10:51:58

Ah, sorry, I thought you meant you were a school wanting to charge. Not that you wanted to complain about a charge, ignore me :D

Chocotrekkie Fri 05-Jul-13 10:56:06

If we are more than 5 minutes late (without letting them know) they automatically go to after school club so you are charged for that.

If you are late for after school club they charge an extra £10 per 10 minutes after the closing time.

Seems fair to me - I don't want to stay late for free in my job so why should they.

They may have needed to pay 2 members of staff overtime to look after your children so why shouldn't they recover it back. I would be cross if you running late meant the school was out of pocket.

insanityscratching Fri 05-Jul-13 11:01:37

Our school is really reasonable tbh I was once stuck on the motorway so couldn't get to dd. I phoned and they took her to after school club. When I went to pick her up they wouldn't let me pay because they considered it an emergency. I've never been late since though but would imagine that anything other than a one off would be charged for and I'd expect to pay tbh.

JanineBr Fri 05-Jul-13 11:49:00

Parents who work have to make arrangements for children to be collected. Some use older children (usually in secondary school), others use friends or relatives. Many do not use the after school club because it is too expensive (even the concessionary rate is £10 a day).

It seems unfair to me that a school can introduce a policy that doesn't allow children to leave school unaccompanied and then severely limit the options that low-paid working parents have to meet the requirements.

And just to note I have raised this question out of interest following a discussion I had with a parent yesterday. I run a play project close to the school. Until very recently we offered a free pick up service for parents/carers of children using our project. The school stopped us from providing this service because in their opinion it was unsafe.

redskyatnight Fri 05-Jul-13 12:33:15

So the issue is actually that children can't leave school unaccompanied? (which means that some parents are late collecting them and hence incur a fee). Why don't you challenge that decision?
I can see it's a decision that makes sense for 4 year olds, not so much if your DC is 10.

I can see the appeal behind charging, but am not convinced it would make a difference to the 4 or 5 parents who are consistently late in collecting their children. It starts in Early Years and we see the same kids hanging around waiting in upper juniors.

Periwinkle007 Fri 05-Jul-13 13:15:42

I suppose the school have to try something though if people are consistently late collecting children, if they have to put them in after school club (which if it is run by an external group will be the price they charge for their time - ours is an external nursery place come and run it) then the after school club could refuse to take them if not paid for them, extra staff required, teachers have their own families to collect/take home/marking and so on so what else can the school do?
not sure on the rationale behind changing it so the older ones can't leave on their own if their parents have okd it. that seems unusual.

xylem8 Fri 05-Jul-13 13:25:51

you don't have any agreement with the afterschool club so how can they make you pay? they can't

jo164 Fri 05-Jul-13 14:35:06

The school I work in does not allow children to leave unaccompanied. The school finishes at 3.40pm but staff are contracted until 4.00pm, so children remain with them in classrooms until that time. At 4.00pm any remaining children are taken to late room and would be charged, as staff are paid a separate rate for running late room. This gives parents 20mins 'late time'.

insanityscratching Fri 05-Jul-13 16:10:16

Jo does that include y6 pupils who within a matter of weeks will be travelling to secondary school, the majority unaccompanied?
At dd's school parents have to sign to say their junior school child can travel home alone but from y3 it is at a parents'discretion.

HedgeHogGroup Fri 05-Jul-13 18:37:27

I am a HT and we do charge parents who are late. Our policy is that if they're picked up within half an hour of school closing they go in the late book. 3 x in the late book = a £5 fine per child. If you pick up more than half an hour late its an automatic £5 per half hour (or part of).
Some of our parents were taking the piss, strolling up about 20 minutes to collect them EVERY DAY. No one minds people being late occasionally but schools are not childminding services, most can signpost you to an after school provider.
What drove me to distraction was the attitude of the late parents - almost like they were doing ME a favour coming to collect their children at all. 1 parent (think D-list celebrity) didn't want to come and collect his child one day because it was cold and snowing. The child (nursery) was finally collected at 5pm (we finish at 3.15pm). Apparently it was too cold to leave the house hmm. The child was asleep on my knee when he collected her & he left with a large flea firmly embedded in his ear grin

Feenie Fri 05-Jul-13 18:46:50

Best one I ever had was an indignant
'But I was doing my Christmas shopping!' (One and a half hours late) hmm

jo164 Fri 05-Jul-13 18:49:28

Insanity - 95% of our pupils come to school by car, due to location of school and it's private, so yes, all pupils go home accompanied. However if a parent requested that their year 6 child be allowed to walk home, then that would be fine. The school must know in advance. Home time is also an informal teacher/parent contact time as well, as parents collect from right outside the classrooms. It allows for good communication which I know can be difficult in a lot of schools.

insanityscratching Fri 05-Jul-13 18:54:51

Yes we collect from the classroom door too so that the teacher can oversee that those to be collected have been collected and can chat then too. No chance of dd walking home as we travel out of catchment. We're in the funny position of being closer to her potential secondary school than we are her primary.

insanityscratching Fri 05-Jul-13 19:02:16

HedgeHog Feenie shock I must be naive as I never thought anyone would be that late. I was mortified being twenty minutes late after sitting in traffic for an hour.

Saracen Sat 06-Jul-13 21:14:27

The school has no grounds for refusing to allow a child to go home unaccompanied, so long as the parent has informed them that that is the plan. Outside of school hours, the school is no longer in loco parentis and cannot dictate to parents about how their children travel.

If you feel your child is sensible enough to make his or her own way home safely, inform the school in writing that that is what you want. They also cannot set a minimum age at which children are allowed to go home alone (Y6 only, etc). This is a parenting decision.

MidniteScribbler Sun 07-Jul-13 01:14:31

If not collected by 3.30(we finish at 3.05), then we can charge a fee. If a parent called and had an emergency or broken down car, or stuck in traffic, then they would not likely be charged, but parents who treat us like a free babaysitting service will find it expensive. A late parent means I may have to miss staff meetings, PD, or even just getting my son picked up on time. Parents can always ask another parent to pick up for them, or call another friend or relative. There should be no reason to rely on the school then get sulky about paying a going rate for babysitting.

HedgeHogGroup Sun 07-Jul-13 09:40:50

Insanity you would be AMAZED by what we see sad

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