To hate 100% attendance awards at schools

(122 Posts)
catloony Sun 10-Nov-13 00:48:57

A family member today has posted on facebook how their child had received a reward again for 100% attendance, and how proud they are and many children are kept off school "wily nily" and that doesn't make the child have a work ethic, lots of comments then agreeing and congratulating the 100% attendance.

I am basically venting on here rather than commenting back that sometimes there is a poorly child that has a diagnosed medical condition and spent time in hospital, but apparently when it comes to the reward trip to Alton Towers they are punished, which I have to explain whilst my child is crying why they are not allowed to go.

I'm sure that there are many other children that were while not seriously ill but had a virus/ D&V for example were too ill to attend school, it must seem the school says tough shit you were vomiting and ill, you can't come to Alton Towers

Mylovelyboy Sun 10-Nov-13 01:52:08

YANBU. Why the hell should awards be given for attending school when that is what you are meant to do anyway. What if a particular child is quite sickly and will never receive one of these awards. I think its bollocks awful to be honest. Same as getting stickers "well done for being good in class". Well that is what you are supposed to be. Should not receive awards for these things, Its what is expected. Rant over smile

whethergirl Sun 10-Nov-13 01:52:11

catloony I would be seriously angry with the school. And then to have it rubbed in by family member (even though not intentionally, but still). thanks for you and your dd.

whethergirl Sun 10-Nov-13 01:53:39

Mylovelyboy my ds even gets stickers saying "I ate all my lunch" grin

Mylovelyboy Sun 10-Nov-13 01:56:23

wethergirl grin no way omg. What is going on, I dont get stickers when I am good at work sad

AgentZigzag Sun 10-Nov-13 02:30:40

Giving out a kindle as a reward is really different to stopping them going to a fun event all their mates are going to.

That's just a spiteful punishment.

What nasty fuck thought that up, and why do all the teachers go along with it?

Love that story though Wether.

worley Sun 10-Nov-13 03:04:24

Catloony - my ds2 (7) had an operation this year so he had been off school too. He watched his friends get a 100% attendance award and was so upset. He has now said that even if he's poorly again he has to go to school and he wants to get a 100% attendance this year!
I feel bad as I know he won't as the paediatric clinics at the hospital he has to go to are always in the morning so I have to take him out of school for them.

So he's being punished for having a medical condition!! sad

Ds1 got a £5 whsmith voucher not anything as exciting as a day at Alton towers though! For his 100% attendance !

echt Sun 10-Nov-13 03:22:08

These attendance prizes really stink.

Nearly as bad are punctuality prizes. In most of my UK schools, form group was pitted against form group for the prize. Without fail my form had the worst punctuality record, and this is so here in Australia.

Nothing to do with the form teacher bending the rules, oh no.

Donkeyok Sun 10-Nov-13 05:11:47

It's a bummer if you're sick and miss out but at least the pressure is off then. Students with medical conditions or flu know they aren't in the running and that's just life, unfair as it is.

The Alton Towers trip sounds like something which should be more of an end of year trip, my old school used to do lunch at pizza hut for class with best attendance and a West end show for individuals across school with 100%.
It's a difficult thing to achieve so they are in the minority so there are enough not going to console each other. (I never heard any consoling going on in my schools, students had attendance class of the week/ term and winning year group records are read out in assemblies). Students encourage each other so the general expectation if not to flake out if your feeling a bit off. No one takes the day off 'sick' for their birthday.

Attendance prizes reward attendance that's all.

It improves incentive for students who might be a bit off colour (period pain, headache, didn't sleep too good last night etc.) but can cope and reinforces to parents high expectations, after all that what we have to do in the world of work.

A missed day of course work at GCSE is difficult to get back
Attendance for A level students dips significantly where these bribes aren't offered and students have more control over their own lives. They do not always make the best choices.

I imagine that there are rewards in other areas/subjects of the school?

Not everyone is good at sport, art, music etc but there are prizes for these?

It is an achievement not that everyone can achieve it,
and it should be acknowledged.
It can help that child's CV and can be put on job or university references.

Instilling high expectations doesn't just work for students it actually reinforces teachers attendance and punctuality. It is something worth striving for
More students up to date on their work, more money in the school as less spent on supply, teachers not chasing students trying to catch up.
They are teaching and rewarding a good work ethic.

echt Sun 10-Nov-13 05:29:26

donkeyok I'm trying to imagine the class who DON'T get the pizza because they have a chronically ill member of the class. Or a parent who keeps them home because of their own MH problems. No pressure, eh? hmm

Donkeyok Sun 10-Nov-13 05:35:16

Yes agreed not nice, but they could go for other prizes such as the form who raises the most for charity etc

Schools should provide a good range of achievable prizes for different areas they wish to encourage.

But what is the alternative should we really not reward 100% attendance, it really isn't that easy.

echt Sun 10-Nov-13 05:39:57

I think it IS that easy. Don't reward 100% attendance, otherwise you discriminate against the children with chronic health issues or daft parents, or encourage turning up with d&v.

Donkeyok Sun 10-Nov-13 05:48:23

I don't think you should do it at Primary level but at secondary level for the reasons given statistically these things work in schools and have huge benefits. I know many students who are off sick a lot in the school I referred to who don't take it personally, but that is also part of the school culture. I know this as it puzzled me at first and I discussed it with many of them. That school had a great and caring culture. No one turned up with D & V. Unless you've worked in different schools and seen the difference it can make it comes across as shocking.

DubaiAnna Sun 10-Nov-13 06:30:14

We have pupils at my DCs school who are in their 3rd or 4th year of 100% attendance, and one pupil left in the summer who had a perfect attendance record (7 years). I was horrified to hear people speak admiringly of this - no one will convince me that this child did not go to school ill on several occasions at least (and from the chat with mums on the school run, it seems it was common practice to go to school and be registered for the day but then be collected and brought home after break). So spreading the illness around, and teaching the child that their perfect attendance was more important than the health of the rest of the class. Great life lesson there.

Plus, in this generation where life is so busy and stress is high, it's absolutely terrible to imply that being sick is a crime. I don't condone days off for anything other than illness - we fit in appts and leisure on weekends and holidays, but we should be teaching children to manage in real-life, and advocating 100% attendance isn't helping with that. Let schools find another way to deal with absence problems, which don't affect 95% of the population.

MidniteScribbler Sun 10-Nov-13 06:32:25

I work in a school that does not do these ridiculous rewards, and we don't have a problem with attendance. I would be the person screaming the loudest in a staff meeting if it were ever brought up. We have a lot of students with additional needs at our school who do need time off for various reasons, and it's demotivating to them to be punished for something that is out of their control. No way, no how!

I hate these rewards, DS will never get one, he has 2 weeks of IV antibiotics I schedule them around holiday tine but half term is 1 week so he'll always be missing school.
He also can't go in when parents send their kids to school with cautious infections or the teachers decide to turn up with them, there was a reception teacher that would regularly pull me aside to inform me she had a bad throat/chest/ear infection but since she felt well enough to be in work she was so it was up to me to take DS out for the day. hmm
Or a child would be running around with a pretty obvious cold, yup that's DS out again then, I can't risk him catching this stuff, obviously he still does with something's, it's unavoidable but I have to minimise risk as much as I can.

So no, he won't ever get an attendance award and he's just about keeping up with his class in terms of work so he won't ever get an award for shining academically, they don't give awards for anything else, so DS will always be watching others praised for things out of his control, even though he tries so hard not to fall behind. angry

Anyfuckerisnotguilty Sun 10-Nov-13 06:47:10

I hate them too

NancyBlacket Sun 10-Nov-13 06:50:01

I work in a school that also gives out 100% certificates. As others have said it is discriminatory against those with chronic illness. Just as offensively the head also sends them out to staff with 100% attendance. I've handed in my notice! (lots of other reasons male it an unpleasant place to work)

Cat98 Sun 10-Nov-13 07:20:20

I don't mind the certificates, but I don't think a big fuss should be made of them, and I certainly don't think things like Alton towers should be rewards, that's ridiculous!

Blu Sun 10-Nov-13 08:08:58

Catloony, I am agreeing with you. And if you feel strongly enough about it to write a post here, don't just vent, write to the school!

DS got this policy changed at his primary for absences connected to a disability or permanent condition or illness, by taking it to the school Council.

oolaroola Sun 10-Nov-13 08:17:41

I can't stand all this attendance hysteria. Schools don't know what's best for your child, their parents do. If my DS is knackered or needs a change of pace I give him what he needs. As for all this rubbish about fining parents for in term holidays, fgs, what a divisive waste of time.

worley Sun 10-Nov-13 08:31:48

Donkeyok I was going to rant after your initial post but you redeemed yourself by agreeing primary school shouldn't do it.. When I had to explain to ds2 who was in year 2 that it was because of his operation he had to have time off and not get a certificate like everyone else.
Where as ds1 in high school doesn't really care if he gets it or not. He is a hard worker and got A* in his first year of GCSE but he can see how ridiculous it is rewarding so own for not being ill or having to be absent..

LordPalmerston Sun 10-Nov-13 08:33:21

Oola. Kids just vital stuff. They miss exam content. It's really really annoying. They can't just make it up and rarely do

MaryPoppinsHasASootkinInHerBag Sun 10-Nov-13 08:43:52

I can't stand it either.
They do an award thing with a cup at DS's school the winning class get 10 minutes extra play on a Friday!

I always sit in assembly and think right then lets do the attendance percentage for the teachers now! grin

PatoBanton Sun 10-Nov-13 08:44:26

Isn't there some kind of provision about this sort of thing in the Disability Discrimination Act?

yoshipoppet Sun 10-Nov-13 09:04:45

I also work in a school, it's a secondary.
At this school, they have the House system, and each week the House with the best overall attendance the previous week gets to go first in the lunch queue.

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