A single mum has appealed for teachers to see sense after she was not allowed to attend a fathers’ day event at her son’s school.
Gilly Laws, 34, whose son is in year one at Stanwick Primary School in East Northamptonshire, is angry that the school told her she could not attend the special fathers’ day event today (Friday) even though her little boy does not have a dad in his life.
But the school says that it is important it finds ways to get more dads into school - and this was an popular and well-received way of doing it.
The six-year-old was left without a parent at the hour-long design and technology event for dads and ‘other male role models’ this morning.
Council worker Gilly said: “I went into school and asked if I’m allowed to attend and the receptionist said she’d check.
“The headteacher then told me I wasn’t allowed to attend.
“He doesn’t have a father and he’s only six years old.
“They said there were parents who couldn’t attend because of work but I can attend - they just won’t let me.
“They are bang out of order.
“The teacher said that the children who don’t have a father there will be doing group work and activities so they won’t be left out.
“As far as I am concerned I am his mum and his dad.”
Gilly had discussed with her son whether he would have preferred to sit with one of the other children’s dads who were in school this morning.
She added: “He said he’d be brave.
“It’s not like I’m asking for more than one parent to be there. I just want to go in to replace the father that’s not there.
“I think we should do away with fathers’ day and mothers’ day and just have parents’ day.”
Headteacher of Stanwick Primary Rani Singh said: “Modern families are complex. They are made up in lots of different ways and there are many different dynamics.
“What is consistent, however, is that we see far fewer male role models on a regular basis compared to female role models. Consequently, we believe it is important to look at how we can support more males to visit our schools so we can explore how we can work together for good of their children.
“We decided, therefore, to run a design and technology event this morning for dads and other male role models. We were overwhelmed by the positive response from the fathers and grandads who attended. Many told us that creating an event that was slightly different from the many we run over the rest of the year was an important factor in them coming in to the schools.
“This mirrors events that we run for mother’s day and other important calendar events.”