Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

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

Miniph Thu 14-Nov-13 12:07:28

My DD is 14, just before the start of term this year we took her to the Dr's with suspected impetigo. Dr told her she'd need to have 48 hours off school after starting the medication so she didn't spread it. At this news DD burst into tears because it meant she wouldn't be able to get 100% attendance. I felt so bloody stupid at having to force an ill child to stay off school.

YANBU it's a stupid system.

chocolate140 Thu 14-Nov-13 10:30:20

I think it's absurd how rewards are given for basically not getting ill. If a child is ill to the point that they wouldn't be able to concentrate on work at school them they shouldn't be going in. At my dd's secondary school pupils with 100% get a certificate in front of the whol school at the end of term. The only theme park they to is a science and maths trip to Thorpe park at the end of year 9 before they start Gcse's in year 10, and everyone goes on that.

lifehasafunnywayofhelpinguout Sun 10-Nov-13 23:53:55

I agree 100% attendance awards are unfair especially to children who have a medical condition and cannot be in school 24/7 and not only that but young children can not take themselves to school can they. xxx

bumperella Sun 10-Nov-13 23:50:28

Better to reward kids for improvement or being the best.
Much easier to explain to a child that "well, you didn't do so well on geography because you missed too much school" than "well, you're too sick too often, so no matter how hard you try you'll not get that trip".

Up till a couple months ago I'd've been suggesting absences were a bit lame for the majority of children. Karma has struck and DD has been hospitalised 3 times in the last 2 months (from 6 night stay to 2 night stay). She's only 2 so absence not a problem, but see the need to get it sorted because (a) am kinda fond of her, mostly, and (b) education is vital.

OwlinaTree Sun 10-Nov-13 22:43:17

Did you not read the bit where I said schools should be supporting pupils with specific needs including those with chronic illnesses or disabilities?

These children should have specific care plans.

WooWooOwl Sun 10-Nov-13 19:48:15

I don't like attendance awards as I agree that it is unfair on children who have to take time off because of illness.

It's not discrimination though. If we are going to go down the route of saying they are discrimination, then we have to do the same for medals on sports day for the fastest runners, rewards for getting ten out of ten on spelling tests and just about everything else that children are given awards for at school. Even down to the house points that are given out for being helpful or showing good behaviour.

capticorn1 Sun 10-Nov-13 19:07:37

100% attendance awards are blatant discrimination against those children with disabilities, chronic illnesses, different faiths etc.

If you feel your child has been discriminated against then you should challenge the school.

Topseyt Sun 10-Nov-13 18:18:41

I have always wondered how on earth schools squared their 100% attendance awards with the possibility of discrimination against children with disabilities and/or serious and chronic medical conditions. If indeed they do actually square it.

At the school my kids go to there is a reward trip at the end of every year. Good attendance is only one of the criteria. Good behaviour and effort in lessons form the basis of the rest, and with the number of kids who I see going on the reward trips each year (about two thirds of the school) I would be very surprised indeed if all of them had 100% attendance.

Are some schools really making 100% attendance the only (or primary) criteria for offering reward trips?? I would be considering taking it up with the headteacher and governors.

For the record, my children have won the 100% attendance awards before. I don't send them to school when ill, its just that they are rarely significantly ill. My youngest is in year 7 now, and has only had four or five days off in her entire school career so far. Likewise for my 15 year old, who is in year 10 now and has probably had even less time off (only a day and a half since starting secondary school). I don't begrudge them the awards, but I do feel a little uncomfortable regarding the possible discrimination issue. That is why it should not be the only criteria for a reward trip.

thebody Sun 10-Nov-13 18:05:10

labtest, so pleased your dd is recovering.

it's very discriminatory in my view and stupid. if you are I'll you shouldn't be in school spreading germs.

if a child has a chronic illness or an accident then that's ruling them out if any chance for these stupid awards and so so unfair.

your dd should have got a bravery certificate.

my dds attendance last year was dreadful but as her injuries occurred on a school trip they couldn't really say much. far too sensible a School to have these silly awards anyway.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 10-Nov-13 18:04:24

labtest

Your story is precisely why the whole thing is wrong sad

I can't believe that prizes are given out like that. Your dd should not be excluded from these trips sad

labtest Sun 10-Nov-13 17:56:36

Giles, she will have follow up for life but is considered in remission. At her school the prize for 100% attendance is tickets to see our local team play. As our local team is Sunderland this would probably only have added to her suffering.

whatever5 Sun 10-Nov-13 17:48:48

OwlinaTree - Surely Ofsted don't expect schools to encourage children to attend even if they are sick?

A 100% attendance award is not going to stop people going on holiday. If I asked my children whether they would prefer a two week holiday in Spain or a nice laminated certificate from school I know what they'd say!

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 10-Nov-13 17:43:18

labtest

70% is amazing given how ill and exhausted and scared she must have been. What a trooper your dd is.

I hope she now has the all clear xx

labtest Sun 10-Nov-13 17:39:02

I've commented on a post like this before but feel compelled to do so again. I am dead against attendance awards. My daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia while still in nursery. She is in year 2 now but only finished treatment September this year. Her attendance was 70% last year so of course she didnt get an attendance award but considering her illness and the amount of hospital appointments she has I think this is pretty good though its never been acknowledged as such.

Crowler Sun 10-Nov-13 17:36:19

Children have very little control over their attendance. Zero, I'd say.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 10-Nov-13 17:30:02

Owl, this is not sour gapes. This isn't a case of "we stand no chance so no one should get one"

Children don't "work at" attendance. They have or don't have parents who give a crap.

Allergies and asthma run in families- the kids had a high chance of being out of the running before they were even conceived.

As for chronic conditions and disabilities well, don't you think they suffer enough without being discriminated against for daring to see their specialists on a school day.

Badvoc Sun 10-Nov-13 17:25:22

Owl...it's not about someone not being good at sport Ffs!
It's about schools and LAs being discriminatory against dc who have long term or chronic health conditions!

CraftyBuddhist Sun 10-Nov-13 17:25:12

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Badvoc Sun 10-Nov-13 17:24:07

My sis and bil always took my nephews out in term time.
They are very comfortably off.
No reason other than they could.
So they did.

OwlinaTree Sun 10-Nov-13 17:18:06

Well you would be expected to show what you were doing to improve specific children's attendance. Schools should also be supporting the learning of children with specific needs, which includes those with chronic illness or disibilites.

There is an element of fighting the term time holiday. I'm not personally against children having a couple of weeks family holiday at a sensible time of year.

But unfortunately I'm not the decision maker! And schools are expected to show what they are doing to encourage attendance of all pupils. Obviously different schools are handling this differently. Having a large variety of rewards available in schools should help this. OK you might not be up for attendance award but there should be lots of other things you could and should have a chance to win.

I'm no good at sports but I don't think there should be no sports awards just because when I was at school I was never good enough to win anything sporty.

whatever5 Sun 10-Nov-13 16:07:20

OwlinaTree-Giving out certificates for 100% attendance upsets children with chronic health conditions and probably those who have had one or two days off that year with genuine sickness but I doubt it has much affect on those with poor attendance despite being well.

I think that if attendance at the school is under 95% they should focus specifically on the children with consistently poor attendance who do not have an underlying health condition.

Attendance at my daughter's secondary school is 97.5% and we often get letters complaining about the fact that children go in when sick. Despite this they still give out 100% certificate awards. Why? There doesn't seem to be much thought behind it.

OwlinaTree Sun 10-Nov-13 15:45:15

I don't know whatever but if attendance is under 95% they would want to know what you were doing to improve attendance, both tackling individual non attenders and whole school ethos.

What ideas do you have other than reward for good attendance? I think the Alton towers trip is Ott but certificates fit in with other types of school reward as does extra play time or golden time.

WooWooOwl Sun 10-Nov-13 15:44:17

It's not always parents on lower incomes that take term time holidays, that's a massively misguided assumption to make!

Either way, if parents as a group are going to take their children out of school for reasons other than illness or extreme circumstances like bereavement, then schools are going to try and combat that any way they can.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 10-Nov-13 15:38:02

*Schools would never have thought of introducing them if parents didn't take their children out of school for holidays and the only time children were off school was because of illness.

The blame lies with parents trying to get cheap holidays.*

Yes how dare lower income families try and get a holiday. Not as if they can learn anything while there or get in some well deserved rest from work and school hmm

facedontfit Sun 10-Nov-13 15:03:13

My daughters school rewards 100% attendance with a certificate. I grit my teeth and let it go but it does make my daughter feel bad about herself. She has asthma and unfortunately misses school due to this.

If the school were punishing her for having asthma by rewarding pupils with trips to Alton Towers/Kindles who are lucky enough to enjoy good health I would be creating merry hell and probably spontaneously combusting at the same time It is discrimination pure and simple.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now