School under fire for not letting pupils take part in Wear a Hat Day

Kim Kingston (42) and her husband David Kingston (42) with their children Jessica Kingston (8) and Charlie Kingston (4) with the Minion.''Picture: Sarah Standing (14898-8591) PPP-140328-212042001
Kim Kingston (42) and her husband David Kingston (42) with their children Jessica Kingston (8) and Charlie Kingston (4) with the Minion.''Picture: Sarah Standing (14898-8591) PPP-140328-212042001
The Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton, which is home to the George Thomas Building. Picture: Geograph

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MUM Kim Kingston has hit out at her daughter Jessica’s school for not taking part in Wear a Hat Day.

Two dads – including her husband David – of youngsters at 300-pupil St Swithun’s Roman Catholic Primary School, in Southsea, have brain tumours.

And for the past two years the school in Taswell Road has taken part in the campaign to raise awareness and funds for the charity Brain Tumour Research. This year’s event was held yesterday.

Mrs Kingston said she was stunned when new headteacher Catherine Hobbs explained she had decided not to support the campaign this year.

Mrs Kingston, a 42-year-old beauty therapist, said that although her husband David’s original tumour was removed in 2008, a second one is growing back close to his spinal cord.

‘It’s like a ticking timebomb for us,’ said Mrs Kingston.

‘And it’s obviously heartbreaking for my daughter to be told she can’t fundraise at her own school.

‘St Swithun’s is a lovely school, with a good sense of community spirit. That’s why she goes there.

‘Even Mayville Nursery, where my son goes, is supporting this.

‘There are two fathers with brain tumours, and we wanted to raise awareness.

‘I cannot understand why Miss Hobbs has taken this stance.’

Despite children not being allowed to take part in Wear A Hat Day in school, Mrs Kingston, accompanied by a Minion from Despicable Me, fundraised outside after school.

Miss Hobbs said she was aware of the request to support the day but denied she had discussed the matter with Mrs Kingston.

She said parents asked her to ‘rationalise’ the amount of fundraising and instead of holding events throughout the year they would now hold one week, in June.

Miss Hobbs added: ‘St Swithun’s School last year as a one-off supported a request from Mrs Kingston to raise funds for and awareness of brain tumour research, as it has done in the past for other families with causes close to their heart.

‘The school had not been made aware that there was any expectation that this would become an annual event. As a school we passionately believe in supporting many charitable causes, but naturally for the sake of parents a school has to be realistic about the number of different charities that it can realistically expect families to financially support.’

To donate to Mrs Kingston’s fundraising campaign text WEAR71£(donation amount) to 70070.