Dad Slams 'Excessive' School Rule That Threatens Students With 'Fixed-Term Exclusion' For Forgetting Stationery
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A dad has slammed a school for threatening students with exclusion if they forget their stationery.
Millfield High School in Thornton, Lancashire, sent a text to Darren Worthington after his daughter rocked up to class with a broken ruler.
The message read: "Good afternoon. Your child has attended school today without correct equipment.
"As per the letter sent before half term, students are expected to arrive with 2x pens, a pencil and a ruler all in their pencil case.
"They should also ensure they have their timetable. Students who forget their equipment twice in a week will be given a 90 minutes Headteacher's detention.
"Failure to bring equipment three times in a week will result in a fixed term exclusion."
The dad-of-four was shocked by the 'joke' of a policy, which he labelled as 'excessive' in a rant on social media.
He said: "Surely this has to be some form of joke.
"God forbid your child loses a pen, breaks a pencil or snaps a ruler. Possible exclusion! How is this helping the children to learn? Unbelievable.
"I think a fixed-term exclusion is a bit excessive. My daughter's ruler had broken, there was a box of spares on the table, which she was not allowed to use."
He continued: "I just think the punishment of twice or three times in a week is excessive for what it is.
"Or it will cause kids to take off other kids as they don’t want to get the punishment. Then what!
"People forget things, it’s normal, I’m sure you wouldn’t punish your kids if they forgot something twice in a week.
"I understand that they are trying to teach the children responsibilities, however the punishment of a fixed-term exclusion just seems excessive. And I can't see how that would benefit the children. I'd even say the 90 minute detention is too long."
However, Millfield High School headteacher, Nicola Regan, has defended the policy, arguing it prepares students for the responsibilities of the real world.
She said: "It's important that students arrive at school with the basic equipment they need for a day of learning.
"This also helps to prepare them for the responsibilities of life after school, and ensures that lessons are not disrupted as staff spend time providing equipment for a small number of students who have forgotten theirs.
"When students join our school, their parents or carers sign a home-school agreement in which they agree to always send their child to school with the equipment they need.
"As students arriving unequipped has become more of an issue lately we have sent a letter to parents about this before half term, and the action we would take if students continue to arrive without basic equipment for learning."
She added: "We also offered to buy equipment for any child whose family may struggle financially.
"As this is the first week after parents received the letter we have provided a pencil case with equipment to a very small number of students who came without theirs, and also contacted their parents.
"We are also in the process of arranging to open a stationery shop at break times, so students can buy spare equipment, to ensure they are ready and fully prepared for the next school day."