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Boy denied summer school

By helen williams, Hoyland Reporter Friday 20th June 2014

AN 11-year-old boy has lost out on attending a week's summer school because he is "not disadvantaged enough," his furious dad claims.

Callum Peasegood, a pupil at West Meadows primary school in Hoyland, came home upset when friends got letters inviting them to the Kirk Balk Summer School - but he and several others did not.

The letter described the summer school as "a fantastic action packed opportunity." It included a trip to Lightwater Valley theme park, team building games, a scavenger hunt, video diaries and a Zulu theatre workshop.

Dad Richard  was told his son was not entitled to go to the summer school because he was not among the 10,000 children in Barnsley eligible for pupil premium.

The premium is government cash given to schools to boost achievement of disadvantaged pupils. Those eligible for it must be registered for free school meals or be looked after by the state, such as those in care.

Pupil premium is worth £1,300 per primary pupil, £935 per secondary pupil and £1,900 per looked-after pupil and is paid directly to each school by the government. Individual schools decide how the money is used to deliver improved results.

He said he would have liked the option to pay for Callum to go to the summer school.


** The full story is in the Barnsley Chronicle, dated June 20. **

CommentsClick here to add a comment...
Posted by Sarah griffiths I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 12:01pm

Well can tell you now it certainly isn't for disadvantaged children as my niece is under none of those categories you claim they need to be on. She is highly academic not looked after by state and not on free meals. So I suggest you thoroughly check out the criteria for selection process before casting aspersions.

Posted by Sarah griffiths I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 12:03pm

She is attending this summer school just to be clear.

Posted by babs I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 12:27pm

Absolutely disgusting,should be the same for every child or not at all,how does it look when the kids go who are supposedly disadvantaged? Doesnt it show to the advantaged children who the poor kids are and who to bully next? Think this scheme needs cancelling if its not for every child, or the father needs to start a petition and consult his mp cos if it happened at my daughters school I would be.

Posted by Neil I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 12:40pm

If it is paid for by a grant for disadvantaged kids fine but why no option to let the rest of the kids go paid for by the parents. Discriminating against kids be it poor or not poor kids is not right imagine if they did this based on race rather than income.

There should be the change for parents to pay. Not having this just makes kids ask what is the point of working if you get a ADVANTAGE by not doing so.

Posted by Richard Peasegood I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 2:02pm

We did full investigation into this before we took it to the chronicle and the children that were offered this opertunity are either on free school meals or have been for a period of 6 months or more within there time in school and that came from the education department themselves so please don't assume that we didn't check this in great detail with all parties before taking it further

Posted by Shameless I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 2:54pm

We had exact same issue at St Pius school last term, extremley unfair - im not suggesting we go free just the option to pay - learns our children a lot about working hard when those on benefits reap the benefits!!!

Posted by Ron I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 3:14pm

Bit of an odd thing to spend the pupil premium on. Why nit spend it on extra staffing, IT facilities, the library like other schools do.

Posted by It's me I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 3:37pm

I'm not from west meadows Skool but my child is at another Skool goin to kirk balk and there is only about 5 pupils from here Skool goin and she's 1 and no1 has kicked a fuss up 2 me it's like the parents don't like it coz there son hasn't been picked but other kids have just goes to show that its parents what course all hassle and not kids

Posted by SJ I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 4:53pm

Actually the summer schools are worth £250 per pupil per week. The government list of eligible pupils. It's taken out of the schools hands.

Posted by SJ I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 4:54pm

Some schools offer other pupils places at a small fee at their discretion.

Posted by ??? I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 5:43pm

All children should have the same chance and opportunities. To single children out is worse if u ask me.

why should it just be open to those who receive pupil premium.

Posted by ??? I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 5:47pm

And to say those people's children who receive this are at a disadvantage is wrong that's labeling the kids isn't it

Posted by vic I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 5:56pm

we have this problem at our school they run a breakfast club but its for the unemployed and people on certain benefits you cant even pay and go which gets me mad i only earn minimum wage why do i bother working !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by who knows I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 5:57pm

I think some of the people commenting could use some schooling themselves

Posted by Auntie Lolli I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 6:50pm

I'd like to point out that Callum is top of his class (mentioned in full story) and works reallyhhard and has been left feeling like his efforts are unappreciated. Those who are invited only have to have received pupil premium for a short period in their entire school career so far, and his parents have always worked regardless of hardship. It's not a brilliant message to give those nine kids that have been left out

Posted by Callum mum I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 9:02pm

It's not just about one child it's is unfair to treat any children different from another because of their parents employment status and all children should be given the same opportunity no matter what. What kind of example is this setting to all children not a very good one is it the

Posted by callums mum I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 9:06pm

And why shouldnt we as parents expect our children be treated exactly the same as all others. And to make one thing clear we have taken this further for all the children involved not just ours

Posted by Auntie Sam I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 9:59pm

I've read the letter recieved by eligible pupils and the first paragraph states that its an opportunity for pupils to familiarise themselves with their new school and meet new friends and the teachers they will have, this as im sure most people will agree is a really good idea but it should be available to all kids.Just because some parents have been fortunate enough to be in continuous employment throughout their childrens lives doesn't mean their kids are going to find it any easier adjusting to and making friends in senior school.

Posted by Cheryl I Fri 20th Jun 2014 at 10:46pm

It's disgusting the children who struggle the most are the ones from low income working families to be eligible for free school meals you have to not be working , why aren't things like that offered to high achievers or those with good attendance it's then tested by behaviour which is only fair, it's the same case for free childcare for two year olds with parents that don't work , no offence but why should low income families struggle to py for childcare when people get it who don't work and don't need it for free , the schools system is stupid !! The good kids and the high achievers get nothing in return , I'm not saying that these kids are bad at all but why can't it be chosen from behaviour and not means tested and by bad ones getting stuff I don't mean this particular activity,

Posted by tracey I Sat 21st Jun 2014 at 11:25am
This comment has been deleted for breaching our site terms.
Posted by julie I Mon 23rd Jun 2014 at 1:47pm

Dont know why they have pupil premium anyway crazy idea .My Child gets it but doesn't access hardly any of the money allocated

Posted by fay I Fri 27th Jun 2014 at 8:49pm

Are you now proud of your selfs Barnsley Chronicle because you too are now labeling the children that have been picked to go on these summer camps !!!!!!!!! and some of the children from our school that have been chosen have NEVER been on free school dinner or are DISADVANTAGE children So congratulations to you for printing this story and helping to make it even harder for our children to move into high schools They are scared enough as it is and here you are making feeling even worse about it now WELL DONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Sasha I Fri 27th Jun 2014 at 9:06pm

It all makes sense to me now. My daughters friends where all sent letters in the post to say that they had been selected to go to Summer camp . They are all going to the same secondary school. Out of catchment and all probably have high school nerves as expected. My daughter was upset waiting for her letter to arrive . It didn't . She has worked her socks off to get good SATs results and couldn't understand why she hadn't had the same opportunity as her friends. I rang the school and they said she could not go on a reserve list the spaces where all full. I thought it odd that none of the activities where based at the new high school and maybe it wasn't about settling in after all. It all makes sense now. Its DISGRACEFUL. Just because children are not on free school meals or thought of as disadvantaged ( by whom I am wondering !!!) why shouldn't all year 6 children get the same opportunity to build skills and confidence, or not at all. The money could be used for wider opportunities such as music service that is always struggling. Or student support .Makes my blood boil this. This country has gone to the dogs.

Posted by sasha I Fri 27th Jun 2014 at 9:09pm

And yes its not the chronicle that have labelled the children its the bloody system ! sort it out

Posted by fay I Fri 27th Jun 2014 at 10:06pm

Not all children that have been picked are on free school meals or are disadvantage children and yes the chronicle is some what to blame i think for printing this story and saying that all children that have been chosen are on free school meal and are disadvantage children so yes they too are labelng them !!

Posted by Premium payment ! I Fri 27th Jun 2014 at 10:50pm

The premium is government cash given to schools to boost achievement of disadvantaged pupils. We'll how does a tri to light water vally Doncaster dome ect do this. How about send the money on bloody schools. My child waited for her summer camp letter to come through the door after her friends got them. She too wanted the opportunity to make friends , meet teachers as it described. She too is just as nervous as the disadvantaged children on school meals. We work hard. Pay our way. Struggle to go on holiday out of season. My child works bloody hard and has been left feeling she did something wrong because her friends were picked but not her. Thank you for bringing this to light chronicle because I can now explain to her the only reason she was not given this opportunity was because I struggle to pay for her lunch! And if I were a parent of a child selected and they were not on free school meals then I would contact the local government to ask for notes as to why my child is labelled disadvantaged for the premium. This has been all done very wrong. Children labelled disadvantaged in school and in public and children left wondering why they haven't been selected and hurt. One thing is proven. Big brother is always watching

Posted by mrsM I Sat 28th Jun 2014 at 10:42am

The chronicle is reporting news which is what a newspaper does so therefore can't be blamed. "The premium is government cash paid directly to schools to boost achievement of disadvantaged pupils" is clearly labelling children who might only have had free school meals for 6 months due to parents temporary financial pressure whos children are not long long- term disadvantaged. This segregates children into 'have' and 'have not' criteria and while it is pleasant for these children to experience summer camp it could have negative implications when they start at high school, giving school bullies further opportunity to discriminate against their peers and I think this is very badly done. All children should be treat as equals in school whether they come from disadvantaged families or not. If all cannot attend, then none should.

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