Crofton Infant School in Towncourt Lane, Orpington, has informed parents that it is scrapping "friendship groups" used to put pupils into classes with friends from pre-school.
Headteacher Richard Sammonds said the new policy of randomly allocating children means everyone is treated "fairly and equitably".Seems reasonable. Who could obje…
Ah. Well, there’s always one, isn’t there?
Rachel Jones has a four-year-old child starting at the school in September and says she may not have chosen Crofton had she known about the change in policy beforehand.Really? That’s your criteria for choosing a school? Not the discipline record, the educational achievements, the state of the infrastructure, even?
It’s whether they can sit with their friends..?
She said: "I received a letter from the school informing me that instead my daughter will be placed with just 'one familiar face' from pre-school.
"As a mum and teacher I know how essential it is for a new starter to walk into their class and see not just one familiar face but a number of friends they like and trust.
"This is essential for their happiness and peace of mind. They have made the first precious friendships of their lives and these will be needlessly thrown aside."They’re children! They’ll get over it!
She added: "Many other parents and teachers I have spoken to share this view.
"We are not asking for a large group to join together. Just three close friends that we have selected."And if you get your way, everyone else’ll jump on board and demand the same thing, and that will cause problems. As the headteacher points out:
Defending the changes, Mr Sammonds said: "Historically the previous head had allowed parents to nominate friends to go into classes.
"That's okay if you can accommodate all parents' wishes, which we weren't able to. "The fairest way is to randomly place pupils in classes.
"(The old policy) means other people would have to slot in around these friendship groups which some people didn't feel was fair."Now, normally, I’m not in favour of a ‘one size fits all’ policy, but in this case, it seems appropriate.