Welcome to your area of the Columbus School and College website where you will be able to find an increasing wealth of information on how we can support you. From the practicalities of absence reporting and school uniforms to the support network of Family Link Workers and social meetings, you can find what’s on offer right here.

Absence Reporting

If prior notification of absence has not been given we ask that parents/carers on…

Day 1:

  • Contact us to report absence by 10:30am.

  • Tell us the reason for absence and expected date of return.

Day 2 and subsequent days:

  • Contact us to keep the teacher updated on your child’s recovery and expected date of return by 10:30am.

  • First Day Calling Policy: If we don’t hear from you, the administration team will contact you by 11:00am to ascertain the reason for absence.

School Attendance and the Law

Under the 1996 Education Act, parents and carers are responsible for ensuring their children attend school regularly and punctually. Failure to do so could result in legal action being taken against them by the Local Authority.

Under the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006, only the school (and not parents/carers) can authorise an absence.

Time off for a family holiday is not a legal right, although schools have the discretion to allow up to 10 days’ leave of absence within a school year. Applications for a leave of absence for holiday must be made in advance by returning a completed Leave of Absence form to the school office. If a holiday is taken without prior permission from the school, or where the request for leave was not agreed, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. This may result in legal action being taken against the parent/carer by the Local Authority.

Family Link Workers

Five Family Support Link-workers were appointed to Columbus School and College in September 2009 with a view to increasing the breadth of support we are able to offer families.

What can they do for you?

They have already offered support to families in a number of ways:

  • Providing support in implementing learning and behaviour plans in the home setting.

  • Helping parents to have a voice within the Annual Review process.

  • Attending medical appointments and review meetings.

  • Setting up after school clubs in areas outside Chelmsford for children and young people who do not live in Chelmsford.

  • Signposting families to benefit entitlements, support groups and befriending schemes for parents and children alike.

What plans are there to extend this service?

  • Social and training events.

  • Consultation meetings.

  • Columbus parent support group planned and led by parents and supported by the Link workers.

  • Set up of a “Parent Directory” which will enable families to have a practical guide to accessing support groups, financial and social benefits for their children.

Social Meetings with Parents and Carers

If you are a parent or carer of a young person at Columbus, why not come along to one of our regular Social Meetings? They are an ideal opportunity for all parents and carers to get together informally for refreshments and a chat.

The dates of these meetings can be found here.

We do hope you will be able to come along to as many of these Social Meetings as possible. Invitations will be sent to all parents and carers prior to each meeting.

The meetings are hosted by the Chief Executive or Deputy Chief Executive and often follow a theme to which other professionals are invited to contribute.


Siblings are very welcome to attend, though we regret we cannot provide supervision.


There are always plenty of tea, coffee and biscuits, plus a small selection of cold drinks.


There is no charge for attendance or refreshments.