Outraged parents have blasted their children’s school for handing out advent calendars only to students who attended 96 percent of the time.
Saint Nathaniel’s Academy in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, has come under fire this semester for cheating some students out of a celebratory Christmas present.
Children who achieved an attendance rate of 96 percent received the Lindt Advent calendars, while those who were ill missed the deadline.
Carla Needham’s two sons did not receive any advent calendars and the angry parent said: “Many children came out of school with an advent calendar in hand as a reward for their good attendance and many children also came out sobbing because they did not have an advent calendar, because they were sick.
“There were kids from the age of three who got very upset because their friends had been given an advent calendar – and they were so bad that they didn’t get one.”
“This little boy came out and he had an advent calendar but his little sister didn’t have one and she was sobbing her heart out and that’s cruel,” the 32-year-old continued.
“It broke my heart,” she added.
The Middleport mother explained: “They could have done it differently.
“You could have sent a message to the parents saying your child was well attended and that there was a gift to pick up at the office.
“Instead, they did it in front of the other kids and rubbed it on their faces.”
Carla has a seven-year-old and an eight-year-old at school and explained that they were on sick leave through no fault of their own.
When her son found out he wasn’t going to get an advent calendar as he watched his classmates take it, his mother said he “sat on the floor and cried, he just said it’s really gross.”
The heartbroken mother pointed out that at this time of year, which is also referred to as the “germ term” among teachers, schools are riddled with pathogens.
She said: “There is also Strep A which is in the news at the moment, there are so many bugs and Covid is still there.
“I don’t think schools should discriminate against a child because they are bad. As a church school, they should know that’s wrong.”
The 32-year-old also stressed that many children will not have an advent calendar this year amid the crippling cost-of-living crisis.
“There are kids out there who won’t have an advent calendar this year because times are tough and school hasn’t given them one now. What’s wrong with a certificate of attendance?” she added.
Stacey Bayley’s nine-year-old son also missed out on an advent calendar, she said: “A lot of kids came out of school really upset because they felt like they were being punished for being unwell and having the day off.
“My son didn’t get an advent calendar. He had to take a little time off due to winter illnesses and an infection in his foot.
“How could they do that to little kids, especially at this time of year? It’s really wrong.”
The 37-year-old claimed the chocolate gifts were handed out right under the noses of children who weren’t getting any.
“My son kinda held it together, but as soon as he saw my face, he broke down.”
She explained that all of her son’s absences were approved by school and that he was genuinely ill.
“It was also the Lindt advent calendars that didn’t come cheap,” the Middleport mom continued.
“The school didn’t take into account that some parents at the time felt they had to spend the better part of £10 on an advent calendar just to make their child feel as important as the others in their class,” she added.
Stacey also highlighted the great pressure parents across the country are under to come through with gifts this Christmas.
She said: “It really pissed me off, it would do any caring parent when your child comes home from school so upset.”
St. Nathaniel’s Academy principal Rosemarie Patrick said most parents supported the school and the advent calendars were donated by a local church.
Ms Patrick said: “In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in line with the Government’s position on increasing attendance across the country, one approach we continue to use to encourage good attendance is rewarding attendance awards.
“These are awarded to students with an attendance rate of 96 percent or above, and the majority of parents have supported this approach to encouraging good attendance.”
The Sun Online has reached out to Saint Nathaniel’s Academy for comment.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6869272/kids-didnt-get-advent-calendars-school-because-missed-lessons/ I’m angry after kids get advent calendars for doing well in school, but mine isn’t – it’s not fair