St Luke's Church of England Primary School, in Eccleshill is under severe criticism from many parents over a rewards trip to Chester Zoo.
The trip was a reward for achieving 100 per cent attendance at school throughout the Autumn term, as part of the school's "HERO" attendance scheme. 100 students went on the trip, but 108 were left behind which has made for many disgruntled parents.
One mother who wished to remain anonymous, said, "The majority of parents are disgusted with the school." She argued that the scheme had rewarded some children who had attended everyday, but were not as well behaved as others. She added "Why is attendance such an extravagant reward? Why for that and not being a good student?"
Some parents were upset that the students who were left behind, had to watch a video about Chester Zoo. "They were asked to draw pictures of parrots, almost like a mini-project." said one parent.
The Principal of St Luke's, Mrs Zulu said, "One of the classes did look at clips of parrots, linked to work they were doing. Following on from that, one of the children I spoke to during the day said 'I didn't get to go to Chester Zoo, but I like that I got to see videos'. It was a positive spin on it."
Talking about the "HERO" scheme, Mrs Zulu added, "This is a termly initiative which ensures all our children have further opportunities within the year to attend attendance trips. Following the introduction of the initiative in September we are already showing signs of improvement. Our current whole school attendance is now above the national average."
She concluded, "Our most recent parent questionnaire, which was completed following the introduction of our new attendance incentive, was overwhelmingly positive with 98 per cent of our parents stating that they would recommend St Luke's to another parent."