Boy Banned From School Trip Due to COVID

Handsam School Trips Advisor

A father has shown his frustration as his son, a pupil at Red Hall Primary School in Darlington, was not allowed to attend a panto trip this Christmas due to having time off school due to COVID earlier in the year.

The trip is organised each year for pupils who have achieved 99 per cent attendance in the school year, which went ahead last Friday. A pupil’s father, Craig Goodenough, said he was frustrated that his son, Adam, 11, was being penalised because he did not attend the school after testing for COVID in October.

He said: “My son is a model pupil, he tries really hard and he’s a bright lad and the only time off he’s had is when he tested positive for Covid following a five-day residential school trip in October. About ten of the kids caught Covid on that trip… Nobody chooses to get ill.”

He added that Adam had logged on from home and took part in online learning. He said: “When I told the school ‘but he was learning, he just wasn’t in the classroom so why has his attendance not been logged?’ I was told he didn’t have to do online learning, that was his choice.”

Julie Davidson, executive headteacher of Red Hall Primary School, said: “Unfortunately, children whose attendance rate was below 99 per cent – regardless of whether they had been absent with Covid-19 or any other illness – were not eligible for this treat. Covid-19 absences are recorded as sickness absence, in line with government guidance.

“However, we have arranged an additional pantomime trip this week, which all pupils from Year 1 upwards, will be able to enjoy, regardless of their attendance rate. Both theatre visits are provided free of charge.”

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