Cllr Matthew Colledge is Leader of Trafford Council and responds here to Nick Seaton's article yesterday suggesting that Trafford Council had banned middle class children from school trips.
May I respectfully suggest that Nick Seaton tries to get his facts right in future before writing items such as ‘Trafford Council bans middle class children from school trips'.
One is tempted to say that with friends like this who needs the Opposition! As the Leader of Trafford I can unequivocally say that at no stage has any child, from any background, been banned from taking school trips in favour of another child by my authority.
In 24 of its schools Trafford is successfully running a government scheme that enables children from deprived backgrounds to access weekend and school holiday activities, such as football clubs, which are open to any child, regardless of their socio-economic background. Free school meal provision is being used as the easiest way of determining which children qualify for the scheme.
However, these activities are open to ALL children and children from ALL backgrounds are making use of them. In Partington, an area classed as heavily deprived, an activity was quickly booked up by a rush of children from ‘deprived backgrounds’ coming forward to fill all the available spaces. With the activity over subscribed and therefore full other children, both with and without free school meal provision, were unable to take part – hence the origins of the story.
Trafford is trying to put on more activities to soak up the increased demand that this scheme has produced, so that as many children as possible can take part. At no stage did anyone at anytime preclude or ‘ban’ any child from availing of an activity, it was simply a case of first come first served.