Published: 00:01, 17 December 2015
A boy who missed school after being injured in a car accident was banned from an end of term event – due to poor attendance.
Ozzie May, five, of Sutton at Hone Primary School, Dartford, was knocked down by a car on September 6 and spent time in hospital before being sent home to recover.
That meant missing nine days of school, which saw his attendance drop below the 96% threshold required for him to enjoy an after-school film screening with friends on Tuesday.
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The school says it sympathises but cannot make exceptions.
However, his mother, Faye, 40, said: “He is only five and he looks at it like he has been naughty and he is being punished. I have been trying to explain to him not to feel like it was his fault that he got run over. He has a horrific scar on his hand now.
“He has been through hell and then for them to say that he can’t go and watch a movie is a little bit unfair.”
Mrs May, of Hawley Road, Dartford, had never taken Ozzie or Year 6 daughter Tallulah out of school until the car accident.
She has criticised the school for the way the situation has been handled.
“It is a Church of England school, which makes it even worse,” she said.
“I am so upset and furious about it. This is the first real issue I have had with the school. I have had an older son go through the school and have never taken them out on day trips or holidays.”
The mother of three has contacted Ofsted about the incident and says she has been supported by other parents.
“There is a lot of uproar at the school about it as well, to be fair,” she said. “I spoke to Ofsted and they admitted that they were trying to crack down on attendance, but not in this way.”
She was planning to take both Ozzie and Tallulah out on Tuesday to make up for their absence from the film screening.
Responding to the complaints, the school’s head teacher, Leah Goulding, said: “We introduced an incentive scheme to improve pupils’ attendance, which was previously below an acceptable level and put us in the bottom 10 per cent in the country.”
“The policy was introduced after assistance and advice from several other head teachers and is generally working well.
“This is a very unfortunate situation and I do feel sorry for Ozzie.
“However, it is not practical to start making exceptions. We suspect it would result in appeals from other parents all putting a case why the school should excuse their children’s absences.
“There will be similar treats for pupils with good attendance at the end of the spring and summer terms, and I sincerely hope that Ozzie will be able to attend those events.”
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