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Weymouth School says they May "Relook" at their Non-Uniform Awards Scheme

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2:27pm 16th January 2014

More parents have been getting in touch with us about a Weymouth School and their end of term rewards scheme.

Chickerell Primary Academy lets children with a 100% attendance record for a term, wear non-uniform as a treat on the last day before the holidays.

Pupils who've missed a day aren't allowed to dress down.

In a statement the School told Wessex FM pupils themselves asked for a day without uniform as a reward instead of certificates.

"For many years, the School has awarded annual certificates to the very small minority of pupils who, through hard work and good fortune, have managed to attend every session. However, when children were asked for their views they said they would prefer the award to be a day without their uniform."

The yearly award was changed by the School to termly, after concerns were raised by parents.

Following our report this morning (Thursday 16th January) we've had nearly 150 comments on our Facebook page and a number of calls to the studio from Mum's and Dad's in response to the story.

Some parents called the non-uniform reward policy discriminatory and worried it could lead to bullying. Others said their children didn’t care about wearing non-uniform at the end of term.

Mum Sarah Harris was one of those who called in. She told us she'd met with Chickerell Primary Academy Head Teacher Miss Harris last year to talk about the non-uniform rewards scheme;

"She assured me that children wouldn't be penalised for being ill and she would take illness into consideration. But 12 months later she's penalised kids for having hospital and doctors appointments, as well as just being sick, even if the school had sent them home."

"It's very difficult to explain to a 5 year old and even a 7 year old the rewards system and because she was poorly she couldn't wear her non-school uniform when her brother and friends could, I think she felt victimised and she even said she'd try not to be poorly again."

"Every parent I've spoken to has the same views, we understand that the School has an attendance record they have to meet and we totally appreciate that. But the way that the reward system works is totally wrong."

In the statement issued to Wessex FM from the Schools Governor and Senior Leaders they said they "may relook" at their rewards scheme to ensure it's as fair as possible, and that they would continue to look at the best way to celebrate pupils who have outstanding attendance records - you can read the full statement here.

The Schools head teacher turned down our requests for an interview.

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