Hereford & Worcester

Nativity play charges lead to parents' 'verbal abuse'

Wooden toys in a nativity scene

A primary school is charging parents £1 to watch their children in its nativity play, sparking outrage from parents.

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Worcester is charging for tickets due to "tightening budgets".

Head teacher Louise Bury said there had been "mixed feelings" in response to the charge, with some teachers suffering verbal abuse.

The money will be used to buy books and equipment, Mrs Bury said.

"Hardly breaking the bank" - parents react

The school, in Warndon, is charging for three performances by pupils in Key Stage One, Reception and nursery.

Image copyright .

In a letter to parents, Mrs Bury said: "I know that for some of you, paying to see your child perform doesn't feel right.

"With ever tightening budgets and growing numbers, we saw this as an opportunity to be able to invest in some valuable reading and learning resources for Key Stage One and Early Years."

'Verbal abuse'

The resources would help improve children's reading progress, particularly learning at home, she said.

Mrs Bury voiced concerns about the reaction of parents to the move.

She said in the letter: "I have been extremely concerned about the conduct of some parents towards my staff which in some cases I can only describe as verbal abuse."

Mrs Bury added the "partnership" between the school and parents was very important and she would arrange to meet anyone to discuss any issues of concern.

Several people backed the school on the BBC Hereford and Worcester Facebook page.

Philip Bannister wrote: "Nothing wrong with it at all. Schools are struggling financially due to funding cuts and if this helps even just a little, it seems a sensible thing to do."

Michael Leighton wrote: "Can't believe parents moaning about paying a £1 then you see them queuing at the drive through at McDonald's."

Image copyright Google
Image caption The school said it needed a ticketing system as its hall was not big enough to meet the demand

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