Have a policy that parents have signed
Make sure that your procedure is set out clearly in the home-school agreement and that fines or after school club charges are transparent. You may wish to have clauses relating to calling or make arrangements prior to the end of school resulting in the charges being forfeit.
Having something that the parents have read and signed gives you the documentation to back up any challenging conversation about timely collection of pupils.
Dig a little deeper
Sometimes there are genuine reasons as to why a child can’t be collected on time - they may have siblings at different schools or a parent with a demanding job which often overruns. In such situations, having a meeting and coming up with a solution with the parent is always the best way to solidify a relationship and ease a child's concerns. If these issues are long-term and the school is unable to support, then enlist the guidance of other children's charities or families services.
Can we charge/fine for late collection?
We asked an education welfare officer at Haringey Council who explained:
That schools are not able to issue fixed penalty notices for late collection in the same way that they can fine parents for unauthorised absences.
He said that, if a child is repeatedly collected late, schools may wish to levy a charge to cover the costs of staffing or a place in an after-school club. However, he stressed that there is no guarantee that the parents will pay it.
What do you think? What do you do if children aren’t collected on time? Leave a comment on our groups.
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