A QLD public school prevented five and six-year-old kids from attending a pirate show because their parents didn’t pay a voluntary levy.

Ashmore State School on the Gold Coast sent its new Enrichment Experiences Policy to parents in February detailing the $110 student resources scheme.

Parents were told if they did not pay the fee in full their children would be excluded from school activities, the Daily Mail shared.

Under the scheme any student who falls below a 93 per cent attendance rate would also be excluded from school activities.

The school hosted a pirate show on Thursday and a number of students were told the could not attend because their parents had not paid the resources fee.

‘Many parents didn’t even see the email and weren’t aware that getting their child to school five or 10 minutes late would have such a huge impact, and have now found the school less than helpful regarding the matter,’ one mother told the publication.

‘When parents expressed their concern and outrage about this absolute absurdity, they were told that their children were still welcome to dress up for pirate day, but would still be separated from their classrooms when the pirate show is on.’

A spokesperson from the Queensland Department of Education said enrichment experience fees were a separate entity to regular school fees and fees for excursions.

‘Children who will not be taking part in the enrichment experience will be provided alternative activities. Parents who have questions or concerns about student requirements at their school are encouraged to speak with their child’s school principal,’ the spokesperson said.

Do you think it is unfair on the students?

Share your comments below


  • Totally unfair, who is it enriching? At $110 I presume it’s the school.

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  • A voluntary fee that attracts penalties – ridiculous!!

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  • This is pretty awful – it just highlights to all the other kids which families can’t afford it. I hope they don’t get bullied.

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  • This shouldn’t be happening in public schools. Kids shouldn’t be excluded because their parents can’t afford to pay.

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  • I feel for the kids as it isnt really their fault, but I can also see it from the schools point of view too

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  • Ooh, a little unfair on the children. But, I also understand there are many parents who choose not to pay such fees as long as they can get away with it. If all notice has been given to the parents and communications clear, then it is the parent’s fault their child has missed out. Too often these days parents claim they didn’t receive or read communications. About time they did!

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  • This is so wrong. Some people find it difficult just to pay the regular fees which can be quite steep. If they want the extra fees paid they shouldn’t be called “voluntary” fees. As far as I know voluntary means it’s up to the discretion of the family. Why not call it extra fees which is really what it is. And why should the children be made to feel like it’s their fault. It’s just another excuse for bullying. They should have all fees written in the pamphlets or letters that parents receive and called excess fees. Honestly for some people it’s all they can do to find money for regular schooling, uniforms, books and everything else they have to supply for their children to receive “free education” which it’s not.

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  • That’s disgusting! It’s not the kids fault!

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  • Its a voluntary fee that has penalties for not paying it sounds ridiculous

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  • Yes, unfair ! A voluntary fee is and should be totally voluntary.

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  • I really can’t believe what l just read. $110 is a alot to many famalies its just too bigger stretch for their budget. Any option of a payment plan ????? As for attendance since when does being 5 or 10 mins late mean non attendance. Then this school has the hard heardest to ban children from activities not for things they have done wrong but things that their parents have control over. To separate these children from the others , gives them a label , a stigma , a reason for the others to start asking questions why didn’t you go to pirate day ???? Very good basis for the start of bullying. This school better do a quick rethink on their rules or they are going to find themselves in a whole lot of trouble.

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  • So ridiculous how,icy it is PER child. Not great teaching kids to be excluded

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  • school costs are ridiculous now

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  • I am extremely glad they are now providing Breakfast for children at schools!!!! But their is more to support and provide to those who need it most, such as children. No one should ever get left behind is my motto! The government should have such things as policies in place for circumstances like this as the one mentioned in the article, so every child gets to receive the same experience in education and fun activity, even if it is a Pirate Show! Damage to child can be caused. No one should ever get left behind!!!!

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  • I think this is quite unfair and stigmatising. I pay my fees and make an effort to get the kids to school on time – but who knows what problems other people are dealing with?

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