Schools defend charging for Christmas play

Schools that charge parents to see their child perform in the school nativity play have defended their decision, saying it helps to cover costs.

Wednesday, 30th November 2016, 1:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 12:30 pm

It comes after parents took to social media to complain about having to pay to see their child perform.

The Grange Junior School in Gosport is one of many that have set a ticket price to see the Christmas play. Parents are asked to pay £1.50.

Co-headteachers, Leiza Harris and Kay Sadler, said in a statement to The News that the school had charged parents in previous years also.

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‘You will appreciate the pressures on school budgets and the costs for the necessary licences, costumes and props can be significant,’ the statement read.

‘Therefore, as in previous years, to cover those additional costs we are selling tickets for the production at a cost of £1.50 per ticket.

‘This ensures that we are able to continue to improve our music and drama resources.’

They said the charge was not extended to families who could not afford to pay it.

‘As with any costs that we ask parents to contribute to, such as school trips, we will always support parents whose circumstances may mean they have difficulty in making such a contribution, I can assure you that any requests for support in this way are treated in the strictest confidence, and with the greatest of respect.’

Many schools now set a small admission fee, sighting cuts in government funding and the need to fundraise for resources as the reason.

Charges differ between various schools and many others still put on the production for free.

But being asked to pay for tickets was greeted with a mixed response by parents on Facebook.

Rhonwen Mair Hyslop said: ‘We don’t pay for the Christmas play but we have been asked to buy tickets (£1) for other performances. I will always be willing to support my child’s school.’

Tracy Vale said: ‘I wouldn’t want to, as I feel it’s wrong to demand it. I would (pay) though, as what parent wouldn’t want to see their child’s play? A collection plate might be better and people might be inclined to give more.’

Linda Wells said: ‘Why not pay? It’s a performance and props and costumes are needed. Good to see some schools still put on the traditional nativity play. So be pleased your child gets to perform, they will love it.’

Johnny Hill said: ‘What about those parents who can’t afford to pay? This time of year is financially very hard for a lot of families. Absolutely shocking. Why should parents subsidise local and central government self imposed government cuts? Cuts which have had no positive impact what so ever.’

Elaine Torrington said: ‘No, I wouldn’t pay. I pay enough in tax and council tax. I’m glad my kids have grown up.’