‘Ban’ on Olympic celebrations upsets mum of Bilton School pupil

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BILTON School has been criticised after pupils were told they could not cheer the Olympic torch through Rugby.

While children at other schools, including Ashlawn and Avon Valley, were given time off to celebrate the occasion, all but a few of the 1,100 who attend the Lawford Lane site were barred from doing so.

And the policy has upset the mother of a girl who goes to the school.

The woman, who declined to be named, said: “I am truly appalled.

“Our children have been prohibited from attending an amazing event. I suppose we will just have to wait another lifetime.”

The school published a newsletter on June 29, stating that the Olympic torch relay was less important than children’s education.

But the parent questioned this notion. She said: “My child’s first lesson on Monday morning was PE, in which she is completing a BTEC course - a qualification which most colleges overlook nowadays.

“Also, on Friday, the whole school missed a whole day’s worth of education in core subjects and even AS levels, to participate in sports day.”

Responding to the criticism, headteacher Patsy Weighill said the decision was taken for a number of reasons, including the safety and welfare of pupils, as well as for educational purposes. The school did send a Year 7 football team to watch proceedings.

Bilton School became an ‘academy’ on December 1, giving staff greater choice over how to spend its money.

An Ofsted inspector who visited the school in November described the school as making “good progress”. Attainment was described as “broadly average” but rising, with the quality of teaching improving and inadequate teaching “eradicated”.