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Norfolk academy only allows children who have 100pc attendance to wear non-school uniform

PUBLISHED: 16:01 14 December 2018

Caister Academy sent a message to parents whose children had 100pc attendance saying they could wear non-school uniform on Friday. Picture: Archant

Caister Academy sent a message to parents whose children had 100pc attendance saying they could wear non-school uniform on Friday. Picture: Archant

Archant

Parents at a Norfolk academy have described their anger after finding out that if their children had missed a day at school they would not be able to take part in a non-uniform day.

On Thursday, guardians of children at Caister Academy who had 100pc attendance were told by text message that their child was to be rewarded by being allowed to wear non-uniform to school the following day.

But parents with children who had missed a day were kept in the dark - until the school’s text message for 100pc attendees was circulated on social media.

The text message said: “To celebrate [child’s name] 100pc attendance as a reward they can come to school tomorrow (Friday 14th) in non-school uniform.”

A screenshot of the text message Caister Academy sent on Thursday to parents of children who had not missed a day of school. Picture: AnonymousA screenshot of the text message Caister Academy sent on Thursday to parents of children who had not missed a day of school. Picture: Anonymous

In a statement the school said it was doing this to reward children who had a 100pc attendance.

It is claimed staff at Caister Academy told pupils in an assembly on Thursday afternoon everyone was to come to school on Friday in uniform.

Roxanne Shaw, 33, who has two children at the school has described the decision as “terrible”.

Roxanne Shaw, 33 with her children including Ebony Dixon, back left and Jack Dixon back right both who were not given permission to wear non-school uniform. Picture: Roxanne ShawRoxanne Shaw, 33 with her children including Ebony Dixon, back left and Jack Dixon back right both who were not given permission to wear non-school uniform. Picture: Roxanne Shaw

She said her son, who has 97pc attendance, and her daughter, who has an illness meaning she has to visit hospital regularly during school time, were devastated not to be able dress up when their friends could.

Miss Shaw said: “I was heartbroken when I heard about it. Children should not be punished for not having 100pc attendance, especially when they cannot help not being at school like my daughter.

“It is absolutely awful that the school is doing this.”

Angela Starbuck and her daughter Abigail in year 10 at Caister Academy who missed a day of school because of the death of her Grandmother. Picture: Angela StarbuckAngela Starbuck and her daughter Abigail in year 10 at Caister Academy who missed a day of school because of the death of her Grandmother. Picture: Angela Starbuck

Miss Shaw said she had sent both of her children to school in non-school uniform because the rule was not fair on them.

In a statement the school said: “Caister Academy is committed to improving attendance. This leads to improved achievement and therefore better opportunities in life.

“It also prepares them for the world of work.

“Excellent attendance also safeguards the well-being of all pupils.

“Achieving 100pc attendance is never easy and should be celebrated.

“As an academy this is one of the many ways in which we have rewarded and congratulated those pupils who are successful.”

More reaction from parents;

A number of exasperated parents have hit out at the school and have sent their children to Caister Academy in non-school uniform without permission.

Janine Childs, 32, has two children at the school.

Her son, Dylan, in Year Seven, has severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum condition.

Miss Childs said she has to take him to hospital appointments which has meant he has missed a couple of days of school.

“What the school is doing just is not on. Children should not be disciplined for not attending school when they have a valid reason.

“This is the type of scenario which can lead to bullying because the school is isolating certain pupils from the rest,” Miss Childs said.

Angela Starbuck’s daughter Abigail, in Year 10, only missed one day at school when her grandmother died.

She said: “I am absolutely disgusted at this. My daughter was so upset when she found out about it.

“I am angry because my daughter feels she is being punished for her gran dying which is so unfair.”

Mrs Starbuck said she has sent her daughter in non-school uniform anyway.

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