A Southampton school has reversed its decision to charge a fee for visits to its Christmas grotto after being accused of "profiting from Santa".

Valentine Primary School in Sholing previously announced parents would have to pay £3 to allow their kids to meet Santa and receive a gift.

However, after mum-of-three Laura Osborne criticised the move, which she said ruined the magic of Christmas, the fee was scrapped.

Laura, 40, said: “I am in a position where I can afford to pay £3 for my child to be able to see Santa.

“But I am aware that there are many parents in the area who can’t afford to pay £3 for their kids.”

She added: “How can the children be at school, which is their safe space, and then deny them to see Santa because parents can’t afford to pay for it.

“It just seems discriminatory.”

Daily Echo: Outside of Valentine Primary School, SouthamptonOutside of Valentine Primary School, Southampton (Image: Newsquest)

When Laura initially raised concerns with the school, staff told her it was an event already held last year which had a lot of success.

She said: “They did the event last year and at the time I didn’t pay for my child to go and when he realised everyone else went apart from him and he saw all his friends with gifts, he was very upset.

“I thought the school had learned from their mistake. It just seems they're profiting from Santa."

A spokesperson for the school said they had “liaised” with parents and had “resolved the problem”, confirming the event would be held “in a different format”.

Following the U-turn, all children will be able to meet Santa for free and the ones whose parents had already paid will receive gifts separately.

Daily Echo: Laura Osborne, 40, criticised the school for ruining the Christmas magicLaura Osborne, 40, criticised the school for ruining the Christmas magic (Image: Provided)

Laura said: “I'm delighted to hear that the operations manager is in full agreement with myself and other parents/carers, and now every child will be included during their school day.

“I'm saddened that other members of management couldn't see how this wouldn't be a problem to begin with.

“I'm assured by the new management this won't happen in the future and any activities during the school day will be inclusive of all children.”