1. ITV Report

School 'truly sorry' after girl banned from trip for attending mum's funeral

A school in Bedworth which did not allow a pupil on a school trip for attending her own mother's funeral have said they are 'truly sorry'.

Maddie Stevens' mother died from cancer earlier this year. A JustGiving page was set up in her memory.

Donations have now reached more than £2,000.

Maddie Stevens set out to raise £100 Credit: JustGiving

"I want to say upfront how truly sorry we are that this has happened and take this chance to explain how the oversight occurred.

Countless schools across the UK are being placed under pressure to improve their annual attendance figures. In order to encourage and support this, many schools both locally and nationally are now looking for increasingly creative methods to promote these government set targets.

In response to this, at St Giles, we encourage and reward good and improved attendance in a variety of ways over the course of the year. As a celebration for achieving 100% attendance in Year 6, we took children for a meal as a special treat before moving on to secondary school.

The intention was that this may inspire others to outstanding attendance in the future. The data used to decide which children were eligible was produced by the Government backed data (SIMS) system that all schools use. It effectively identified those children who had solely achieved 100% attendance but did not report reasons for absence.

It was never our intention to upset or offend anyone who was unable to attend school for medical or compassionate reasons. We recognise and fully sympathise with the family’s views, and had we known at the time that we had unwittingly caused offence, we would have taken immediate steps to address their concerns. Sadly we were not given the opportunity to do this.

We appreciate that there are some circumstances when a child cannot attend school, and may therefore miss out on any 100% attendance reward we put in place, but we do ensure all good attendance is rewarded and celebrated.

The views which have now been brought to our attention, do cause us concern, and will be addressed openly and constructively within our close and supportive school community. Parents’ views and suggestions are extremely important to us, and we use these as an opportunity to move our School forward. This was identified as a strength in our recent OFSTED, and is something we place great importance on at St Giles, and want to maintain."

– Anne Perry, Headteacher, St Giles Junior School, Bedworth