A mother is furious after the head teacher of her daughter’s school wrote a letter urging her to abandon her birthday party because too many pupils were going. Tina Adams, of Tiverton, Devon, accused her daughter’s school of overstepping the mark after she was asked to delay a party which is being held the night before a week of tests. She has organised the two-hour Grease-themed event to celebrate Roisin’s 13th birthday on Sunday. Friends of her younger daughter, Niamh, 11, from Castle primary and St John’s Roman Catholic School have also been invited.
But the event, which is due to end at 9.30pm, is the night before a week of SATS exams at the schools. Miss Adams, 50, says that when teachers heard about the party they asked Niamh to leave the lunch hall then quizzed her about who was going to the party and how long it was going on for. She then received a letter from Castle Primary school’s head, Cathy Noble, suggesting that the timing of the party was inappropriate. “They are blowing the whole thing out of proportion,” said Miss Adams. “I am a responsible parent and said to other parents that if they didn’t want their children to come, or if they wanted to pick them up early, then I wouldn’t be offended.
“But I feel very strongly that this is a parental matter and not something the school should get involved in. The kids have worked extremely hard for these tests and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of rest and fun to let their hair down - it might even improve their performance. Now Niamh is upset about it and thinks we’ve done something wrong.” She said she was determined to press ahead with the party. Mrs Noble said she was concerned about the party and had merely suggested another date might be more suitable. “SATs are the culmination of our pupils’ primary education and I wanted to make absolutely sure that the family were aware these important exams begin the next day. They can then make their own choices based on all the information,” she said.
Miss Adams said that the party had virtually been ruined by the school. She said: “The party is for my 13-year-old daughter, not for my 11-year-old, and I don't believe that an hour or so is going to have an effect on exam performance. There were going to be about ten girls going in all and now it looks like there will be just five. Some of the mums have stopped their daughters going. My daughters are very upset by it. Roisin has said she’d rather not have the party now but it’s still going ahead. I said to school and the other mums an hour won’t make any difference to the girls’ futures. It’s disgraceful – a total over-reaction and an invasion of privacy. There has to be something wrong if schools and teachers are under so much pressure for the league tables that they resort to this.”
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