Row over special T-shirts for primary school’s top pupils

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‘GOLDEN children’ who are rewarded for good behaviour are being singled out at a Spalding school by being allowed to wear yellow T-shirts.

Spalding Primary School’s behaviour policy for Key Stage 2 pupils has so incensed one mum she has moved her children to another school.

The mum, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect her children, said: “By making the children look different it makes them the golden children – it causes a divide in the pupils.

“I have heard them called ‘swots’, ‘golden children’, ‘teacher’s pets’ and ‘the untouchables’, as well as comments from teachers like ‘you will be okay with that group, it is mainly golden T-shirt children’.

“If you make a few children the really good children you then inadvertently make the other children the bad children.”

The school’s policy for “promoting good behaviour and positive attitude” in Key Stage 2 pupils is outlined on its website. It states: “Children who show consistently exemplary behaviour over a period of time are rewarded the Golden Cloud award. They receive a golden polo shirt to wear instead of the while polo shirt/green dress.”

The mum, who understood the golden awards were for a term, said: “The whole idea of rewarding children for good behaviour or for achievements, be they academic or not, is a great idea. What I disagree with is the way the school is choosing to single out children in a very public way.”

She said her decision to remove her children followed complaints to headteacher Diane Scott and letters to chairman of the school governors Paul Sharman and Lincolnshire County Council. A complaint has also been lodged with the Ombudsman.

Neither Mrs Scott or Mr Sharman were prepared to discuss the school’s behaviour policy. Mrs Scott said: “Parents were sent a questionnaire and we took the answers on board. The matter is closed as far as I am concerned.”

Mr Sharman said: “The parent has exercised her right to remove her children out of school. The matter has gone to a higher level and I am not prepared to discuss it further.”

Meredith Teasdale, Lincolnshire County Council’s assistant director of children’s services, said: “We are aware that the headteacher is carrying out a review by consulting with parents about the golden T-shirt and golden badge rewards they have in place.

“Although this is a matter for the school and governing body, we are providing assistance and advice if they require it.

“We have had a complaint about this issue sent in by the parent and this has been sent to the governing body. We will help assist them as necessary.”