Working mum slams free iPads for poor kids plans

The Argus: Adele Hughes Adele Hughes

A working mum has criticised a Brighton school's idea to give iPads to children entitled to free school meals.

Dorothy Stringer School wrote to parents to say it was considering giving select pupils the electronic devices to encourage more families to sign up to the free school meals scheme.

The school said it received £900 a year Government funding for every child who qualifies and claims for free school meals - cash it claimed could be used to invest in pupils' learning.

In the letter to parents, the school said: “Benefits exist for the school and for your child even if they choose not to eat the meal.

“We believe there are many children in the school who are able to claim free school meals, but who are not doing so.

“These students would benefit now and in the future by registering. 

"If the school decides to implement the use of personal devices, we will most likely use iPads. In this case, all students who are on free school meals will be given a free iPad.”

But parent Adele Hughes, 38, of Madehurst Close, Whitehawk, said the idea was “unfair on working families”.

She said: “I work, which means my son doesn't get free school meals. This will also mean he won't be entitled to an iPad if the idea goes ahead.

“Although I work, I still can't afford to splash out on things like iPads. It puts me as a parent in a position. Peer pressure is bad enough as it is, and it won't help if half the class are given free iPads and half aren't.

“It seems these days if you work hard and try to pay your way then you don't really get much back in return. It's unfair on working families.”

A spokeswoman from Dorothy Stringer said the school was currently researching the effectiveness of the idea, which was under consideration.

She said: “We wrote to parents reminding them about free school meals and how to claim.

“Should the school decide to bring in this initiative over the coming years, students who are claiming free school meals will receive an iPad for free.

“The reason behind this is that the pupil premium money is allocated by the Government to allow FSM pupils to access the curriculum.

“It would be in keeping with the intention of the Government to provide iPads in is way.

“The deadline for signing up is the end of the month which is why we have prompted parents at this time.

“However there are absolutely no definite plans as there are still many considerations before it can be taken forward.”

Comments (14)

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9:28am Wed 4 Dec 13

pwlr1966 says...

“It seems these days if you work hard and try to pay your way then you don't really get much back in return. It's unfair on working families.”

This is so true
“It seems these days if you work hard and try to pay your way then you don't really get much back in return. It's unfair on working families.” This is so true pwlr1966

9:48am Wed 4 Dec 13

Stoney33 says...

Its usually the poor kids who have the latest electronic gizmos in my experience, I think the school has their plan the wrong way round

I can see the benefits of Ipads etc,, for schooling, but it also opens up opportunity for abuse, loss, damage etc.. Ipads are worth a few quid to sell, and then be repoted 'as lost'

Surely, if Ipads are to be brought into schools, its either for everyone, or no one
Its usually the poor kids who have the latest electronic gizmos in my experience, I think the school has their plan the wrong way round I can see the benefits of Ipads etc,, for schooling, but it also opens up opportunity for abuse, loss, damage etc.. Ipads are worth a few quid to sell, and then be repoted 'as lost' Surely, if Ipads are to be brought into schools, its either for everyone, or no one Stoney33

9:50am Wed 4 Dec 13

jillyb1 says...

Appalling and discourages people from working to support their family . Free ipads for all or none at all .
Appalling and discourages people from working to support their family . Free ipads for all or none at all . jillyb1

11:30am Wed 4 Dec 13

Man of steel says...

Judging by the educational standards of todays children, I would have thought that a pen and pencil set, and a dictionary, would be of far more use.
Judging by the educational standards of todays children, I would have thought that a pen and pencil set, and a dictionary, would be of far more use. Man of steel

1:18pm Wed 4 Dec 13

inkjet says...

Never heard anything so ridiculous in my life. I work hard to earn money so that i can feed my family and put a roof over our heads. Luxuries such as IPads are beyond my means for my kids, but all those on benefits get one for free.?? And the incentive to get out and earn is?????????????
Never heard anything so ridiculous in my life. I work hard to earn money so that i can feed my family and put a roof over our heads. Luxuries such as IPads are beyond my means for my kids, but all those on benefits get one for free.?? And the incentive to get out and earn is????????????? inkjet

3:31pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Andy R says...

Stoney33 wrote:
Its usually the poor kids who have the latest electronic gizmos in my experience, I think the school has their plan the wrong way round

I can see the benefits of Ipads etc,, for schooling, but it also opens up opportunity for abuse, loss, damage etc.. Ipads are worth a few quid to sell, and then be repoted 'as lost'

Surely, if Ipads are to be brought into schools, its either for everyone, or no one
It IS going to be everyone. But it is possible that the school can make use of the Pupil Premium to ensure that the very poorest kids don't lose out.

Anyone in work is obviously welcome to give it up and claim benefits themselves if they actually think some Aladdin's Cave of delights awaits them as a result......

Obviously the school would be really quids-in if there was a Petty Jealousy and Finger-Pointing Premium......
[quote][p][bold]Stoney33[/bold] wrote: Its usually the poor kids who have the latest electronic gizmos in my experience, I think the school has their plan the wrong way round I can see the benefits of Ipads etc,, for schooling, but it also opens up opportunity for abuse, loss, damage etc.. Ipads are worth a few quid to sell, and then be repoted 'as lost' Surely, if Ipads are to be brought into schools, its either for everyone, or no one[/p][/quote]It IS going to be everyone. But it is possible that the school can make use of the Pupil Premium to ensure that the very poorest kids don't lose out. Anyone in work is obviously welcome to give it up and claim benefits themselves if they actually think some Aladdin's Cave of delights awaits them as a result...... Obviously the school would be really quids-in if there was a Petty Jealousy and Finger-Pointing Premium...... Andy R

6:03pm Wed 4 Dec 13

fredflintstone1 says...

The school say “Benefits exist for the school and for your child even if they choose not to eat the meal." What a unpleasant, money-grabbing attitude! Playing the system - a truly despicable way to educate children.

There is form here though. Stringer is the school that sought eco-status and yet now wants to chop down its rare elms and destroy precious habitat to create a massive series of floodlight football pitches. Here's the message, kids. It's ok to pay lip-service to conservation, but when a money-making opportunity comes around, just forget your green credentials.

Thankfully, the planners have recommended the Planning Committee turn the school's application down, but will the Greens vote this destruction through regardless??
The school say “Benefits exist for the school and for your child even if they choose not to eat the meal." What a unpleasant, money-grabbing attitude! Playing the system - a truly despicable way to educate children. There is form here though. Stringer is the school that sought eco-status and yet now wants to chop down its rare elms and destroy precious habitat to create a massive series of floodlight football pitches. Here's the message, kids. It's ok to pay lip-service to conservation, but when a money-making opportunity comes around, just forget your green credentials. Thankfully, the planners have recommended the Planning Committee turn the school's application down, but will the Greens vote this destruction through regardless?? fredflintstone1

6:14pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Andy R says...

fredflintstone1 wrote:
The school say “Benefits exist for the school and for your child even if they choose not to eat the meal." What a unpleasant, money-grabbing attitude! Playing the system - a truly despicable way to educate children.

There is form here though. Stringer is the school that sought eco-status and yet now wants to chop down its rare elms and destroy precious habitat to create a massive series of floodlight football pitches. Here's the message, kids. It's ok to pay lip-service to conservation, but when a money-making opportunity comes around, just forget your green credentials.

Thankfully, the planners have recommended the Planning Committee turn the school's application down, but will the Greens vote this destruction through regardless??
"What a unpleasant, money-grabbing attitude! Playing the system - a truly despicable way to educate children. "

Well no....I'd say it's good training for them to fit right into 21st century Britain!
[quote][p][bold]fredflintstone1[/bold] wrote: The school say “Benefits exist for the school and for your child even if they choose not to eat the meal." What a unpleasant, money-grabbing attitude! Playing the system - a truly despicable way to educate children. There is form here though. Stringer is the school that sought eco-status and yet now wants to chop down its rare elms and destroy precious habitat to create a massive series of floodlight football pitches. Here's the message, kids. It's ok to pay lip-service to conservation, but when a money-making opportunity comes around, just forget your green credentials. Thankfully, the planners have recommended the Planning Committee turn the school's application down, but will the Greens vote this destruction through regardless??[/p][/quote]"What a unpleasant, money-grabbing attitude! Playing the system - a truly despicable way to educate children. " Well no....I'd say it's good training for them to fit right into 21st century Britain! Andy R

6:16pm Wed 4 Dec 13

LeonBIank666 says...

I agree in essence with the mother, but was just wondering as she lives in Whitehawk if she is a council tenant?

If so, is it really fair to raise this point?

Because I earn a lot more than this women is it fair that I have to pay extra rent or have a mortgage and will be on the council list for 20,000 years.

Where, therefore, does one draw the line with regards to what is fair?
I agree in essence with the mother, but was just wondering as she lives in Whitehawk if she is a council tenant? If so, is it really fair to raise this point? Because I earn a lot more than this women is it fair that I have to pay extra rent or have a mortgage and will be on the council list for 20,000 years. Where, therefore, does one draw the line with regards to what is fair? LeonBIank666

6:35pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Adelehugs says...

Andy R wrote:
Stoney33 wrote:
Its usually the poor kids who have the latest electronic gizmos in my experience, I think the school has their plan the wrong way round

I can see the benefits of Ipads etc,, for schooling, but it also opens up opportunity for abuse, loss, damage etc.. Ipads are worth a few quid to sell, and then be repoted 'as lost'

Surely, if Ipads are to be brought into schools, its either for everyone, or no one
It IS going to be everyone. But it is possible that the school can make use of the Pupil Premium to ensure that the very poorest kids don't lose out.

Anyone in work is obviously welcome to give it up and claim benefits themselves if they actually think some Aladdin's Cave of delights awaits them as a result......

Obviously the school would be really quids-in if there was a Petty Jealousy and Finger-Pointing Premium......
I don't want to give up work, and I am very humbled to think that I have a job! At NO point in the email received from the school did it mention ALL children getting iPads. No mention of part buying or a contribution from those not on free school meals! I am a single mum, have always worked and realise how fortunate I am. But why should children be divided in education and technology irrespective of what their parents earn or don't earn? I have consulted parents that are claiming free school meals for their children and they are in agreement with me!
[quote][p][bold]Andy R[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Stoney33[/bold] wrote: Its usually the poor kids who have the latest electronic gizmos in my experience, I think the school has their plan the wrong way round I can see the benefits of Ipads etc,, for schooling, but it also opens up opportunity for abuse, loss, damage etc.. Ipads are worth a few quid to sell, and then be repoted 'as lost' Surely, if Ipads are to be brought into schools, its either for everyone, or no one[/p][/quote]It IS going to be everyone. But it is possible that the school can make use of the Pupil Premium to ensure that the very poorest kids don't lose out. Anyone in work is obviously welcome to give it up and claim benefits themselves if they actually think some Aladdin's Cave of delights awaits them as a result...... Obviously the school would be really quids-in if there was a Petty Jealousy and Finger-Pointing Premium......[/p][/quote]I don't want to give up work, and I am very humbled to think that I have a job! At NO point in the email received from the school did it mention ALL children getting iPads. No mention of part buying or a contribution from those not on free school meals! I am a single mum, have always worked and realise how fortunate I am. But why should children be divided in education and technology irrespective of what their parents earn or don't earn? I have consulted parents that are claiming free school meals for their children and they are in agreement with me! Adelehugs

6:39pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Adelehugs says...

LeonBIank666 wrote:
I agree in essence with the mother, but was just wondering as she lives in Whitehawk if she is a council tenant?

If so, is it really fair to raise this point?

Because I earn a lot more than this women is it fair that I have to pay extra rent or have a mortgage and will be on the council list for 20,000 years.

Where, therefore, does one draw the line with regards to what is fair?
No I don't live in Whitehawk and am not a council tenant . Not that it matters if I did but I pay for my roof over my head. Please don't presume that anyone that lives in Whitehawk is a council tenant.
[quote][p][bold]LeonBIank666[/bold] wrote: I agree in essence with the mother, but was just wondering as she lives in Whitehawk if she is a council tenant? If so, is it really fair to raise this point? Because I earn a lot more than this women is it fair that I have to pay extra rent or have a mortgage and will be on the council list for 20,000 years. Where, therefore, does one draw the line with regards to what is fair?[/p][/quote]No I don't live in Whitehawk and am not a council tenant . Not that it matters if I did but I pay for my roof over my head. Please don't presume that anyone that lives in Whitehawk is a council tenant. Adelehugs

7:07pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Adelehugs says...

All 9 of me wrote:
a bit less cake and she might be able to save for one
Nobody said I couldn't afford one! I'm not pleading poverty I just don't agree with discrimination and division amongst children in school. They should all be treated the same whatever their parents financial situation. If I can afford cake I will eat it! I suppose you are Mr/Mrs/Miss Perfect???????
[quote][p][bold]All 9 of me[/bold] wrote: a bit less cake and she might be able to save for one[/p][/quote]Nobody said I couldn't afford one! I'm not pleading poverty I just don't agree with discrimination and division amongst children in school. They should all be treated the same whatever their parents financial situation. If I can afford cake I will eat it! I suppose you are Mr/Mrs/Miss Perfect??????? Adelehugs

7:16pm Wed 4 Dec 13

melee says...

I agree it doesn't seem fair. The parents who are already struggling to pay for school meals (I can only afford for my son to have them twice a week as it soon adds up) then have to pay for ipads if their kids need them. Isn't the fact that the children can have a school meal if they want it enough? If they don't want it then that's up to them, they shouldn't need to be bribed.
I agree it doesn't seem fair. The parents who are already struggling to pay for school meals (I can only afford for my son to have them twice a week as it soon adds up) then have to pay for ipads if their kids need them. Isn't the fact that the children can have a school meal if they want it enough? If they don't want it then that's up to them, they shouldn't need to be bribed. melee

9:26am Thu 5 Dec 13

Andy R says...

Adelehugs wrote:
LeonBIank666 wrote:
I agree in essence with the mother, but was just wondering as she lives in Whitehawk if she is a council tenant?

If so, is it really fair to raise this point?

Because I earn a lot more than this women is it fair that I have to pay extra rent or have a mortgage and will be on the council list for 20,000 years.

Where, therefore, does one draw the line with regards to what is fair?
No I don't live in Whitehawk and am not a council tenant . Not that it matters if I did but I pay for my roof over my head. Please don't presume that anyone that lives in Whitehawk is a council tenant.
You have no need to justify yourself - but maybe you should seek less justification from others?

Crikey, what an object lesson this thread is in how the Govt keeps us all down. Just get us pointing fingers at each other rather than them.

Look over there!!
[quote][p][bold]Adelehugs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LeonBIank666[/bold] wrote: I agree in essence with the mother, but was just wondering as she lives in Whitehawk if she is a council tenant? If so, is it really fair to raise this point? Because I earn a lot more than this women is it fair that I have to pay extra rent or have a mortgage and will be on the council list for 20,000 years. Where, therefore, does one draw the line with regards to what is fair?[/p][/quote]No I don't live in Whitehawk and am not a council tenant . Not that it matters if I did but I pay for my roof over my head. Please don't presume that anyone that lives in Whitehawk is a council tenant.[/p][/quote]You have no need to justify yourself - but maybe you should seek less justification from others? Crikey, what an object lesson this thread is in how the Govt keeps us all down. Just get us pointing fingers at each other rather than them. Look over there!! Andy R

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