To be pissed off with school attendance awards.

(127 Posts)
FortyDoorsToNowhere Wed 23-Oct-13 21:45:14

I hate it, a child can't help getting ill or can not get to school on time as it down to the adult taking them.
then there are children who have appointments, such as SALTS or paediatrician which are often difficult to rearrange.

What pisses me off is that my son has many appointments, so he will never get 100% attendance and never gets these awards.

aibu to think attendance awards should be banned in school.

JackNoneReacher Wed 23-Oct-13 22:20:08

I would still sooner not reward good luck whonicked.

Much prefer to see 'best improvement', 'hardest worker' or whatever other award you could make up which actually reflected a childs achievements.

tiggytape Wed 23-Oct-13 22:20:22

YANBU but these threads always attract people who say "but it might be the only award poor little Fred ever gets"

That hardly compensates for the fact that lots of disabled children are also more likely to be excluded from sporting and academic awards because of their disability and the attendance award is just another thing they will never have a sniff of a chance of getting

It has the added effect of making them feel even more crappy that a condition that marks them out as different, causes them pain, embarrassment or upset and costs them things they enjoy has the power to wreck another small part of their school experience. The chance to go up in assembly and get a well done.

Hospital appointments are only in school time for the most part. There's no choice. And no, it isn't like a run of bad luck when another child has Norovirus and chickenpox all in the same term. Disability means long term and it means that some children already know that in the Summer term of 2014 they cannot win an attendance award because their hospital appointments go up that far already angry

LynetteScavo Wed 23-Oct-13 22:28:16

Oh, FFS, DS1 had hospital appointments every six weeks....no he never had a 100% certificate as he was also a school refuser. He got over it.

As I said they are pointless certificates.

Don't tell DD that

PurpleGirly Wed 23-Oct-13 22:30:20

It is just another award given to pupils amongst ones for attainment, behaviour, improvement etc. every child should have an opportunity to be rewarded. Schools do not penalise for someone being ill but they do have targets for attendance, lates etc.

It is an important part of schooling for pupils to understand the importance of being there - not those who are genuinely ill, or have appointments etc. but for those who just don't feel like coming in, which happens a lot in secondary school. Attendance is linked to attainment - you would probably be surprised at some of the reasons I have had for absence ( had to stay at home as the new Call of Duty was out being one).

Soontobeslendergirl "I think for some children it can be hard work and dedication for them to make it into school every day." True, but for some children it can be hard work and dedication for them to make it into school for the 90% of days that they are well enough to attend or don't have a medical appointment.

WhoNickedMyName "I find the people who are against these are the ones whose children are unlikely, for whatever reason, to ever get one." I'm against them and while my DD isn't school age yet, her nursery attendance suggests that she is likely to be one of the lucky children who doesn't have a lot of time off ill or having appointments.

It only takes a little empathy to understand what it is like to struggle into school with some sort of chronic health issues but require the odd day off and then see the kids who are lucky enough not to have your health problems also being rewarded for it. Or to be the child who caught D&V from a classmate who wasn't kept off for the required 48 hours and was then kept off and lost out on the award due to their diligent parents safeguarding the health of their classmates.

In secondary school I didn't have a day off in 6 years, but then caught flu and was in bed for a week. I would have much preferred not to have had flu and have been in school. Flu was punishment enough without missing out on an award.

Why not just put names into a hat, pull them out at random and give those children an award. It really is luck.

tiggytape Wed 23-Oct-13 22:32:34

Lynette - Except at some schools they have special trips that only the children with 100% attendance can go on. Or a prize draw. Or a special treat of some kind that all the children want and are encouraged to work towards by not missing any school days.

There was a poster a while back here who contacted the Asthma Charity when she came up against similar and they referred her to the Equality Commission who said, if there were prizes for 100% attendance, disabled children would need to have their hospital appointments recorded separately and not included in the figures as a "reasonable adjustment" under Equality Law

HeeHiles Wed 23-Oct-13 22:35:49

My heart broke for my dd2 - she is never ill and always on time for school - except for one morning I was ill and struggled to get her to school - we were 5 mins late - she didn't get the certificate :-(

LynetteScavo Wed 23-Oct-13 22:52:26

Trips for 100% attendance? Bizarre. Please don't tell me you have to pay togo on these trips (like the engagement trips to Alton Towers at DS1's school....hey kids, you've behaved really well, if your parents can suddenly fork out £35 you can go to Alton Towers...if not, you have to spend the day at school with all the naughty other kids).

WestieMamma Thu 24-Oct-13 00:04:45

I think attendance certificates are fine. Attendance rewards like parties or trips are absolutely not fine.

Rahahaharubbish Thu 24-Oct-13 00:26:35

FFS it's perfectly obvious that this award has nothing to do with a child with a legitimate reason for absence - it's to engage those who are conditioned by their parents that school isn't important... and that it's cold outside... and that no-one can be bothered to wake them up... and that so what if they miss yet another day, we'll come up with an excuse for them missing school to stop them prosecuting.

I work with kids like this everyday and it's soul destroying. The child who hasn't managed a full week yet this term, and now even when she does no one wants to let her join in group work because they know damn well she won't be there next week so it'll mean more work for them. Self perpetuating misery - how can you engage with others, make friends and grow academically if you're simply not pushed to be there? On the flip side I also have the kid who was subject to local authority action last year for his attendance but this year is on the 100% attendance board so far this term.

So yes, forgive me for supporting attendance awards, in my experience those who have reasons for not being in school generally understand why and often have plenty of opportunity to be recognised in other ways. If we were purely judging kids on attendance then education would be far cheaper all round.

peachesandpickles Thu 24-Oct-13 00:31:12

YANBU. I was talking to my 7 year old dd about this today. She is a bit sad that her friend got a certificate and she didn't. It's not her fault she has asthma and has missed lots of days.

I told her I am going to give her a certificate for being so good at taking all her medication.

I don't see the point of these certificates. After it's not like dd can strive towards not having asthma. All it does is make her feel bad about missing school.

peachesandpickles Thu 24-Oct-13 00:37:56

But rahaha in the sort of families you are referring to how much say does a 4/5/6 year old have over whether they get to school or not? I can't see how their parents would suddenly be motivated to send them because they might get a cert.

I can see how it might help older kids as they can get themselves out to school.

ChazDingle Thu 24-Oct-13 08:37:32

We get an attendance award at work!!

If we don't have a day off all year then we get an extra £100 in our dec pay which works out about £65 after tax and NI.

Originally when they brought it in it was £25 per quarter but all paid in December. So if you had one day off in Feb you still got £75 at end of the year. The thinking behind this was that it was set at such a level that people wouldn't drag themselves into work ill but it gave recognition to those with 100% attendance.

PervCat Thu 24-Oct-13 09:00:34

surely appointments arent counted as absence?

tiggytape Thu 24-Oct-13 09:02:23

If they have those awards at work, they have to abide by equality law too.

For example if a pregnant colleague has a baby with growth concerns and needs weekly scans, they couldn't count that against her. If a colleague with diabetes has to attend a diabetes clininc every 3 months, they wouldn't be allowed to withhold that person's bonus.

Only time off for non-pregnancy and non-disability related reasons could be tallied up.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 24-Oct-13 09:13:11

Yanbu!!!

There are plenty of awards children can win that aren't academic.

Awards for trying hard regardless of outcome.
Awards for showing kindness
Awards for participating in activities/groups.

Awarding attendance is awarding parents for sending in sick kids and discriminating against ill/disabled children who don't stand a chance. Make a kid upset for something they can't help? Wow that's a good idea isn't it hmm

StanleyLambchop Thu 24-Oct-13 09:21:54

It is an important part of schooling for pupils to understand the importance of being there - not those who are genuinely ill, or have appointments etc. but for those who just don't feel like coming in

In that case why are hospital appointments included as an absence? it would be more fair to disregard them in respect of attendance awards, but many schools don't.

thebody Thu 24-Oct-13 09:23:25

yes a load of old bollocks op. totally agree.

neverputasockinatoaster Thu 24-Oct-13 09:24:59

I'm with you. They are pointless and don't really improve attendance in Primary School as attendance is mostly out of the child's control.

However - looking at it from the other side - if you are a school with poor attendance and getting slated by Ofsted for it you have to show you are taking steps to address it........

eggsandwich Thu 24-Oct-13 09:54:16

In my dd school they have an end of year school assembly where they give out trophys to the children who got 100% attendance, the funny thing was my dd friend got an award when she has been off sick, she told the headteacher as she was handed her award and the headteacher said "oh, never mind have it anyway." Bloody ridiculous idea anyway!

jellyboatsandpirates Thu 24-Oct-13 11:18:58

*YABU.
I find the people who are against these are the ones whose children are unlikely, for whatever reason, to ever get one.
There's a kid in DS's class who will most likely never win any award at school, but his attendance has been 100% since he started. It's probably the only award he will ever win in his school career.
Some kids will never win a race at sports day, some will never win a reading challenge award or a maths award. That's life.*

Agree with this. Why should those who can get an award miss out? As pointed out here, it's an award they can get where they might not get any otherwise.
Some things should be rewarded. Good behaviour, attendance etc.
Not just ignored.

JackNoneReacher Thu 24-Oct-13 11:22:34

Rahahaha are you saying these awards are effective in motivating the parents who can't be bothered to get their children to school?

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 24-Oct-13 11:24:09

But good attendance isn't an achievement. It's bloody good luck that all.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 24-Oct-13 11:24:20

At the school my nephew goes to they buy the Best Attender a bike at the end of the academic year. The boy who won it last year got 98% attendance.

Vagndidit Thu 24-Oct-13 11:27:52

Considering that my child has already been sent home twice from school this term, after his teacher decided he was too sick to stay, I would be quite annoyed if they started rewarding the parents who were committed to not answering their phone at work ensuring their child's education. hmm

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