Our kids’ school has banned them from going outside for lunch… they’re treating pupils like criminals | The Sun

PARENTS have slammed an academy trust after it banned kids from going outside during their lunchbreak.

Pupils at Smestow and Wednesfield academies in Wolverhampton now have to stay indoors after new rules were introduced by bosses.

The rules were introduced at the start of the year after Bloxwich-based Matrix Academy Trust took over the running of the schools which had been previously been overseen by the University of Wolverhampton MAT.

Some of the new rules though have been met with anger from parents who say that being kept indoors is bad for their children’s mental health.

Among the other rules which have met with hostility include youngsters having to ask for permission to use the toilet during break time and kids being named and shamed and made to “face the wall” for being late, the Express and Star reports.

A petition called "Let our kids be free", started by Tanya Rathbone, as so far gained almost 600 signatures from people.

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She said: "Wednesfield Academy have been taken over by Matrix Trust, and the new trust has introduced a new lunch rule.

"Children who enter the dining hall start to queue up, get food and are not allowed to leave to go outside nor can they use the toilet unless they have a pass or for exceptional circumstances."

She added: "Fresh air helps children to stay focused. Outside games encourages exercise and works great for their mental health, it’s a proven fact.

"Staying in such close proximity with so many children inside increases the risk of children getting more and more illnesses. Can you help me by signing this petition so children can be free just as they were before the Christmas holidays.

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"This has really affected my child and many other children I have spoken to."

The petition has also gained dozens of comments, both from parents and students.

Jane Jones described it as “ridiculous” that pupils were made to face the wall for 20 minutes at lunch time if they were late.

She said: "Are they trying to give these kids stress and anxiety? They go on about mental health and how they try to tackle it and then they come up with these pointless rules, resulting into their health and well-being declining."

Referring to kids having to raise their hand if they needed to go to the toilet, she said: ”This is a school NOT a prison. So stop treating them like they’re criminals.”

Tab Lloyd described the new rules as “absolute BS”.

Emma Moseley said: "My daughter goes to Wednesfield, the kids should be free a lunch time to move around. This isn’t good for the mental health."

A pupil said: "I literally have my GCSEs in a few months and this new system they have just doesn’t help at all with all the stress that comes because of that fact."

Matrix Academy Trust said in a statement: "As a trust, we pride ourselves on our culture of high expectations and providing our young people with an excellent education.

"When a school joins a trust, there are inevitably new systems that are introduced and take time to embed. One of these is the continuous day which is common practice in many secondary schools and is in place in all of our trust schools.

"We very much appreciate and would like to thank the parents who have been supportive of the changes so far.

"We would also like to take this opportunity to reassure all member of our community that any decisions made are in the best interest of our pupils and based on a proven track record of success.

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"We look forward to working with parents to bring about continued improvement at Wednesfield Academy."

The Sun Online has contacted the Matrix Academy Trust for further comment.

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