Not on benefits? You can’t join school clubs
A MOTHER says her six-year-old son cannot join after-school clubs because she and her partner do not claim jobless benefits.
Cara McCormick, 25, had tried to sign up Thomas for reading, maths, computer and homework groups.
But she says he was not allowed to take part because she and his stepfather Steve, 35, do not receive state handouts.
Steve said: “Last year he went to football club and other clubs.
“This year we put him down for four separate clubs but my partner was told that because we were not on benefits he could not go to any of them.
“He is a bright lad and we just want him to get the best opportunities. It is bizarre. You want to give your kids as much of a boost as possible.”
Cara said she was encouraged to sign up Thomas for the sessions at Oliver Tomkins Primary School in Swindon. But she said that she then received a call telling her that he was not eligible.
She said: “I was aback. quite
“It is strange. If you want the best for your children and they are offering these clubs what is the difference? It should be for all children, surely.
“I thought those children would need it more because the parents tend to work long hours and don’t always have the time to sit down with their children. I feel there is discrimination.” She said her friend’s grandchild had been told the same thing. Cara said it was unfair on working people who struggle to ensure their children get a good education.
The couple receive child benefit and working tax credit, which helps workers on a low income.
Headteacher Rhian Cockwell said she had written to Thomas’s mother to explain why he could not join certain clubs.
She said some of the clubs he applied for were for those who qualified for “pupil premium”. This is a sum allocated by Government to help disadvanted children.
The headteacher added: “These clubs were already full after we had given priority to pupil premium students, otherwise Thomas would not necessarily have been refused joining them.”
However, she said he was free to join one of 10 other clubs.
Cara McCormick with her son Thomas, six, who was denied the chance to join his school’s clubs