A primary school on the outskirts of Wolverhampton has faced backlash after it chose to segregate sections of the playground for children whose parents pay more.
Wednesbury Oak Academy has launched 'No Pay, No Play', a scheme aimed at reserving new sports equipment for children of parents who made a £6 donation to the school. The Parent Council in West Midlands asked parents to donate money for each child they had attending Oak Academy.
Headteacher Maria Bull has defended the school's actions and said all parents should have been able to afford £6. Bull added that the parents were given eight months to make a donation. According to the Mirror, the school has about 450 students. Just 50 of those have parents who made the donation.
Bull said she has even received serious threats over the decision. "Parents have behaved in a highly threatening manner on Facebook, telling me 'I need a good slapping', Bull told the Mirror. "This is not the way to behave."
"We have the systems in place where parents can come and address their concerns. I am on the verge of calling the police." Bull reiterated the no pay, no play idea was not hers.
One parent has started a petition on change.org to have the scheme removed. At the time of writing, it has been signed 630 times – the goal is 1,000 signatures. After detailing how the idea came about, the petition says all parents are against segregation.
"The parent council were not at all happy with that idea, as this would be social and financial discrimination," the petition reads, in reference to a discussion. "They all agreed that however much money was raised per class ALL children would get to play. The incentive was, the more money, the more equipment the WHOLE class would get to play with."
The scheme launched on 3 January and had paid and unpaid groups of students. "This has caused outright disgust from children, parents, grandparents, staff and such like. The parents that have paid and parents that haven't are totally against the separation of the children as this can cause upset, bullying and social exclusion among other things."
The new sports gear includes a football, rugby balls, skipping ropes and a slinky.