Dear Headmistress,

I am writing to you as a parent of a child at your school. My 6 year old son has been going to your school for 3 years and has enjoyed his time there immensely. As a parent there have seen one or two decisions or requests from the school that have puzzled me and I haven’t agreed with but I have not felt the need to address these with you. For example:

– Children not being allowed to make Father’s Day cards? Mother’s Day is a big day at the school and all the kids work together to make cards for their Mummys. How lovely. Then along come Father’s Day and…….nothing. The reason being apparently is that ‘not all the children have a Daddy in their lives’. Ok I get that and obviously this is sad and something we should all be aware of. However, I’d like to hazard a guess that unfortunately I’m sure there are some without Mums but Mother’s Day is massive at your school. At the end of the day we can’t keep everybody happy but the only obvious solution is stop all the celebrations altogether (a bit unnecessary) or offer an equal amount of celebration to Father’s Day as well. Kids are tough and this can always be an opportunity to celebrate other members of their family if they so wish

– Also, (and I appreciate a Iittle more trivial), your decision to close all the gates except one entering the school. GENIUS. By my rough estimates with 350+ children attending the school everyday I would guess that including staff, parents, carers etc about 1000 people descend on the school twice everyday. Β So at 8:40am everyday and again at 3:30pm 1000 people are trying to manouvre through a space the size of a normal House front door…….. DOES NOT WORK. I have seen arguments, fights and shouting and that’s just from the parents. It doesn’t make sense and the reason you have done this? ‘To stop children coming in with dirty feet’. Errmmmm ok but torn clothes and black eyes from fighting their way into the gate is fine? I think this needs to be looked into………. also I have to walk further.

Anyway, back to my original point, I have never felt the need to raise these issues before but I’m afraid my son has came home from school with an issue I couldn’t ignore. The best way to highlight this is to repeat the conversation we had last night:

Me: How was school today? You look upset is everything ok?

Son: No I’m not Daddy. It’s been horrible at school today. We’re not allowed to play football anymore.

Me: Oh really? Why’s that? Were you all being naughty?

Son: It was the bigger children. They started playing a little bit rough so the Teacher said we can’t play anymore.

Me: Well if they were being silly they’ve probably stopped it for a bit to teach you all a lesson. It won’t be forever.

Son: But it is. Miss Knight came into our classroom later and said the teachers had all had a meeting and decided football would be banned from now on.

Me: What?? Really? Ok so what do you guys do at playtime now?

Tristan: We play pretend football. We pretend we have a ball and kick it to each other and try to score in our pretend goals. It’s hard and we sometimes argue about where the ball really is……………….

Now, not only was this probably one of the saddest and most depressing things I’ve ever heard come out of a child’s mouth it made me angry. These kids LOVE football. They spend every waking minute playing. In the morning before school, as soon as they get home and all weekend. I accept they can get boisterous and a bit rowdy but so do the group playing running races in the playground. Are you going to chop off their legs and stop them running???

However, the most important point is this issue of childhood obesity that you keep ramming down our throat every two minutes. “Children must exercise regularly”. Yes couldn’t agree more. Now the fact that as soon as there is even a hint of rain the kids aren’t allowed out into the playground is one thing. One ridiculous thing, but one thing as it is. However, now you’re saying that when the are allowed out they can’t play football? Are you kidding me? 6 year old kids that just want to play football are being told they can’t by a school which if I’m honest, it looks like some of the teachers could do with a run around the playground every so often. Crazy and unjustified decision.

I am also aware of the recent suggestion that school hours will be increased. Superb. The kids will be spending approximately nearly 10 hours a day at your school and chances are they’ll spend the majority of that sat inside drawing a picture. I have thought hard about this and the only way I can see we can ensure the kids get their REQUIRED exercise is by every family moving house to the next village 5 miles away and making their children jog to and from school everyday. That will do it!

Please be aware that my calculations suggest that dealing with a few unruly kids every so often will be a lot cheaper than having to invest in larger chairs for their fat arses and new keyboards that are adapted to work with chubby fingers!

Well, thank you for the opportunity to air my views. Please feel free to contact me to discuss them further but please not this afternoon. I have a viewing on a house in Glasgow which hopefully if we get it will help my son get his necessary exercise.

Kind Regards,

James Bromley