PARENTS

Parents Shut Out Of School Christmas Concert For Being Late

19/12/2014 11:14 | Updated 20 May 2015

Welford Primary School in Welford Road, Handsworth, Birmingham

Disappointed parents have spoken of their anger after they were barred from watching their children take part in a school Christmas concert - because they were late.

An end-of-term school concert isn't generally the most formal of affairs, but family members hoping to attend one at Welford Primary School found they were subject to rules stricter than most West End shows, and were turned away for being just minutes late.

Some of the parents had been stuck in traffic, including a grandmother who had driven from London to see the Christmas show, which featured pupils from Year One to Year Six.

But headteacher Jamie Barry remained firm, denying more than 25 latecomers entry to the concert.

Many expressed disbelief and anger over the school's decision, which left some pupils searching fruitlessly for a familiar face in the audience while their parents were forced to remain outside.

One unnamed mum argued that the school's inflexible stance was unfair to working parents.

"Some people were coming straight from work and got caught in traffic," she told the Birmingham Mail. "It is Christmas time and it felt very wrong to do it to the children."

Barry defended the decision, which he insists 'wasn't done to be vindictive'.

"Ten minutes is a long time, and if people continue to come in after that time it is disruptive for the children and other parents," he said. "I always have to put the interests of the children first."

While Barry insists that only spectators who arrive more than ten minutes late are subject to the school's strict policy, a mum who attended the concert said that some of those turned away arrived only five minutes after the show started.

"One gran had come up from London," she said. "It was very sad and some parents were understandably very angry."

Although headteacher Barry confirmed that he had no intention of changing the school's policy on lateness, he admitted that the school had not done enough to make parents aware of the unusually serious consequences of late arrival.

"In hindsight we could have made it clearer before the performance we will make it clearer for future performances."

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