Frequently Asked Questions

We have put together this list of most commonly asked questions. We hope you will find it useful, but if you have any further questions, please do contact us in school.

Where can I find a copy of Caldew’s term dates?

These are available in the Diary section of the school website, along with other important dates. The Diary section is located within the Our School section.

Where can I find details about Caldew’s uniform?

These are available in our Prospectus and in student planners.

What time does my child need to be in school?

School begins at 8.40am and students should be in school before this time. Students who arrive late between 8.40am and 9.00am should enter school via the Late Gate at Performing Arts. Students who arrive after 9.00am should enter school via Main Reception and sign in at the Attendance Office (off the courtyard, next to the Library IT room). School finishes at 3.10pm.

What do I do if my child is ill and can’t attend school?

Please contact us before 9.30am on each day of absence on 01228 710044 (option 3) or send a text message to 07860 055816. If you do not inform us when your child is absent, we will call or send you a text to inform you of their absence.

What do I do if my child has a medical appointment during the school day?

Medical appointments should be arranged outside of the school day. However, where this is not possible your child does not need to miss a whole day from school for an appointment. Please send them to school with a copy of their appointment letter/card or a note in their planner to show Mrs Richardson, our Attendance Education Officer. They will need to sign out at the Attendance Office. Parents/carers should come in to Main Reception and collect their child. If they are returning to school following an appointment, they need to sign in at the Attendance Office.

What happens if my child feels unwell or needs to take medication during the school day?

Students who feel unwell must get a note from their teacher and go to Student Reception, who will assess them and contact parents/carers if necessary. Students should not contact parents/carers themselves without going to Student Reception first.

If your child needs to take any medication in school, there is a form to complete giving your permission to allow school staff to administer it. Please click here for the form. This MUST be completed before we can administer the medication. We have been advised that a written note from parents is not sufficient. Students are not allowed to carry their own medication, including painkillers, in school. All medication MUST be brought in its original box with your child’s name clearly marked on it.

How do I pay for lunch?

All students have an ipay account which is the on-line payment system for the school’s catering. If you have not received your log-in details or have forgotten them, please contact us via email: There are also three machines around school where students can top up their account using cash. These machines no longer accept the old £5 notes or £1 coins.

What do I do if my child has lost something?

If a student has lost something it is always a good idea for them to retrace their steps and look for the lost item. They are responsible for searching for their own lost property. The key for the Lost Property Store is kept at Student Reception and is available at break and lunchtime. It would be really help if parents/carers could put names in items so if they are lost, they can be easily returned to their owner.

How do I contact school staff?

You can find e-mail addresses for staff on the dedicated Staff page of the school website; they will normally respond to you within 24 hours.  

If you wish to speak to a member of staff then please contact the school’s Reception. As most staff teach the majority of the day, they may not be available to take a call but Reception staff can pass a message on. Teaching staff will return calls as soon as is possible, although in some cases that may not be until the following day. We would encourage all parents/carers to contact us as soon as you have any concerns or questions. For subject queries, the point of contact is the class teacher or Head of Department, and for more general queries it is the Form Tutor or Head of Year.

Because of daily commitments, we cannot promise to see parents/carers who arrive at school unexpectedly.

If you have any concerns about how a matter has been dealt with please do contact Ms Jackson, Mrs Atkinson or Mr Hammond directly and they will make every effort to address your concerns.

Is there financial assistance available for school meals and clothing?

Free school meals and clothing vouchers are available for children if their parents/carers are receiving one of the qualifying benefits. Further information is available online:

How will I know how well my child is progressing at school?

Every student receives at least two short interim progress reports a year as well as a full written report. We hold two Parents’ Evenings for each student during the course of the year (a Tutor Evening and a Parents’ Evening). Parents/carers can also access the latest information on their child’s attendance, achievement and behaviour (known as the Learning Gateway). If you have not received your log-in details, or have forgotten them, please contact us via email:

How do I find out if the school is open during bad weather?

We will only close the school as a very last resort and the default position will always be to stay open. If we do decide to close the school, it will be announced via the school text system, the school website, our Twitter account and through local media channels as early as is practical.

If you change your mobile or email contacts, please let us know by ‘phone or email so that we can update our records accordingly. A change of address, however, requires written confirm ation; there is a form available in the Parents section of the school website to notify us of this.

How do I find out about transport to and from school?

Information about school transport is available in the Parents section of school website.

How I can get involved in the life of the school?

A group of parents/carers has set up the Caldew Friends and Family Association. The aims are to strengthen the partnership between parents/carers and the school and to provide funds for “extras” that enrich and have an impact on our children’s education.

You don’t have to join the committee to support the association; they are also looking for raffle prizes, help at events, or offers of your time in other ways. If you would like to get involved, or want to know more, please email or contact Cheryl Eastburn via the school’s Reception.

Am I able to park on the school site to pick up my children?

Parents/carers may pick up students from the Sports Hall Car Park, but they need to park in a designated parking space either by 3:00pm or wait until the buses have departed at 3:20pm. Students should not be dropped off or picked up in the Visitors Car Park (next to Reception) and parents/carers should not be parked in the bus bays along the front of the school at the end of the school day, on the footpath opposite the school or in the roadway leading to Nestlé. If parking is not available at school, there is a car park a short walk away in Dalston village.

What if my child forgets some equipment? Can I drop it off for them?

Lots of equipment that students forget to bring to school with them is dropped off at Reception by parents/carers every day; PE kits, exercise books, Food Tech ingredients, etc. This is always taken to Student Reception and it is up to students themselves to collect. Parents/carers are reminded that it is students’ responsibility to bring the right books and equipment to every lesson – this is part of our Code of Conduct. Lockers are available for students, please speak to Student Services for more details.

Leaders have made significant progress in improving the school since the previous inspection. They have focused on creating a broad and ambitious curriculum which meets the needs of pupils and students, including those with special educational needs and /or disabilities (SEND).

Ofsted 2022

An effective programme of personal development has been created for pupils in key stages 3 and 4. This prepares pupils well for their future, giving them opportunities to have important discussions about healthy relationships, social and moral issues.

Ofsted 2022

There is a strong culture of safeguarding in place, with clear systems to record any concerns. Leaders keep safeguarding relevant to all members of the school community through regular updates, training, alerts and reminders.

Ofsted 2022

Pupils including students in the sixth form, are proud to attend Caldew School. They feel well supported, happy and safe in this welcoming community. There are high level of trust and respect between pupils, students and staff.

Ofsted 2022

Leaders provide effective careers guidance to pupils from Year 7 through to Year 13. Clear guidance, including preparation for interviews and ‘Work Ready Days’, helps pupils and students to make considered choices for their next steps.

Ofsted 2022