22/11/2011 14:19 GMT

Church of England School Accused Of Cash For Lessons 'Emotional Blackmail'

A Church of England school is being investigated by governors after parents complained they were being "emotionally blackmailed" by teachers to hand over cash, it has been reported.

Children as young as eight were allegedly pressured into making their parents pay up for swimming lessons as teachers told them they would not be allowed to participate if they didn't bring in the £3.50 required.

One mother, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Western Morning News she had been "forced" to make a complaint to the local education authority over the Bodmin school.

"My daughter becomes extremely upset if I do not make the 'voluntary' payment – when I ask why she tells me that she will get told off.

"I abhor this type of emotional blackmail and threatening behaviour towards young children", she said.

If proved to be true, the alleged incident would breach the Department for Education's regulations which stipulate schools should not be charging for lessons and it should be "made clear" children would not suffer if the voluntary payment has not been made.

Head teacher at the St Petroc's primary school refused to comment while the matter is being investigated but the director of education at the Diocese of Truro said she has "absolute faith" in the board of governors conducting the inquiries.