To think school attendance parties and certificates are a good idea?

(165 Posts)
Liketochat1 Tue 11-Dec-12 08:53:39

I've been having a discussion about school attendance initiatives such as parties at the end of term for 100% attendance or bronze, silver and gold certificates for varying levels of attendance.<p>
What do you think about these initiatives? Are they a good idea? Do you support schools' decisions to implement them or do you think they are unfair as sometimes children are absent for sickness and can't help that? Does that possibility mean those children who have made it in everyday should not get recognition and a scheme which stresses the value of school attendance and aims to support parents in getting their children to school should be scrapped?
What do you think? AIBU?

IWipeArses Tue 11-Dec-12 08:55:07

Punish illness? It's ridiculous.

freddiefrog Tue 11-Dec-12 08:57:07

They can be if handled correctly

Our school does have attendance awards, but they're not for 100% attendance. Kids can't help getting ill, hospital appointments are generally during school hours, etc, so the targets are much lower. They also work out individual targets for children with health problems

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 11-Dec-12 08:57:53

I have a dd who has severe asthma, bad enough when she was little to be able to claim Living Disability allowance. How is it right that she is then punished by the school for something that is outside of her control? She had frequent hospital admissions throughout her school life and I don't think she ever made a full half term much less a year without time in hospital. She knew the value of school, she didn't need to be made to feel a failure for her ill health.

YABU. I think they're a crap idea. DD doesn't get attendance certificates because she has hospital appointments every couple of months. Should I cancel them to emphasise the importance of school attendance?!

potoftea Tue 11-Dec-12 08:58:41

Where I live the mayor goes once a year to every school in the city and gives certs to anyone who didn't miss a day during the previous year. It is a big deal, in front of whole school, photo taken with mayor, etc.. I hate it.
My older dc both got these certs at least once. But poor dc3 never could. He has a long term illness that means lots of boring hospital appointments. So he never even had a term with full attendance. But he would far rather be in school, that spending the morning in a hospital waiting room and then having painful tests.
So I think these type of schemes are really unfair on children who already have unfair stuff in their lives.

brandysoakedbitch Tue 11-Dec-12 08:58:46

Bad idea. I have a diabetic child and she has in the past missed a lot of school. Horrible to be punished for being poorly

valiumredhead Tue 11-Dec-12 08:59:45

Why would I want to support something that a child has no control over? So you punish a child that is ill or needs hospital appts? confused

LineRunner Tue 11-Dec-12 09:01:07

I have two DCs. My DS habitually has 100% attendance term on term. My DS has spent much of her school time at hospital appointments.

As far as I am concerned my DS is very lucky and it seems odd to reward him still further for what is already his good fortune, whilest my DD has never had a certificate or prize but has been pretty brave at the hospital.

Funny old world.

LtXmasEve Tue 11-Dec-12 09:05:59

Hello again LiketoChat, do you have a deadline for this article?

5madthings Tue 11-Dec-12 09:06:09

Its a crap idea kids dont delibetately get poorly!

My ds2 and ds4 are off at the moment and are gutted to miss performing in the xmas plays etc.

Why make them more miserable by throwing a party they then cant attend.

It may well encourage people to send their kids in when they shouldnt...and then spread germs!!

RatherBeOnThePiste Tue 11-Dec-12 09:07:16

oooooooo you sound like a journalist!!

Hmmmmmmm.....

Startail Tue 11-Dec-12 09:08:18

YABUtterly and totally unreasonable.

DDs have both been off school more this term than I have ever known, I'm sure part of this is increased pressure on attendance.

I think this is both from schools and working parents not daring (in the present climate) to have time off.

Lots of DCs have had time off for DV bugs, so now they dare not take time off with colds and general winter nasties. They are passing them round their friends and the staff.

They are not taking 2-3 days to get over them and they are catching something else.

It is getting silly the HT says the supply teachers are running out.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 11-Dec-12 09:10:01

i would rather see rewards for effort and behaviour.

You can't help being ill and I don't see why a child should feel punished for being sick.

Or disabled.

My children are disabled. They have to go to hospital appointments etc. Why should they be 'punished' for this?

Their school has gold, silver and bronze attendance certificates. So you don't have to have 100% in order to have some recognition.

They also - and far more importantly imo - have a Perfect Term award. So you get nominated by your teachers if your behaviour is consistantly excellent, if you always make an effort, if you're helpful and polite, etc.

If you get a Perfect Term nomination for each term in the year, you are awarded a Perfect Year. And there's a celebration evening, with buffet and prizes.

That is SO much better than getting a certificate because you're lucky enough to not have a disability, or you've been fortunate enough to not get sick, or your parents have made you go to school even when you ARE sick!

Goldmandra Tue 11-Dec-12 09:10:05

"Does that possibility mean those children who have made it in everyday should not get recognition"

So to have 'made it in' to school is heroic in what way? Have those children come into school when they were unwell and infectious or have they simply been lucky enough not to have been unwell? I see no merit in either of those.

My DD2 was really distressed by the practice of getting all those with 100% attendance to stand up in assembly every half term. She was always one of the few left sitting for all the others to look down on, literally. It was a humiliating experience and virtually impossible for the confused four year olds in reception to understand.

Even if the child was out of school for a holiday it would clearly not have been the child who booked it. If the actions of the parents are unacceptable, write to the parents. Why humiliate or punish the child in school?

For those who say this is rewarding the good attendees not punishing the others I say they are wrong. The children who are left out are well aware and it feel like a punishment. A punishment for something which was out of their control.

I'm all for rewarding children for making an effort but this is not about effort or achievement. It is a lottery. There may be a very small number of parents who will make different decisions about term-time holidays or lazy days off because of this practice but a much larger number of children are upset by it.

Has anyone actually studied whether there this practice has a positive effect on attendance figures, particularly in primary schools?

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 11-Dec-12 09:11:34

Oh yes. Congratulations. You have through sheer force of will managed to avoid picking up a bug for a whole school year.

you utter, utter star you! Well done on your immune system of steel. Keep up the good work.

grin

I totally support them, illness should be punished, we could also give detentions out for sneezing in school, or make them write essays if their temperature goes above average hmm

larrygrylls Tue 11-Dec-12 09:13:56

I find the whole idea truly bizarre.

Who really cares about 100% attendance. Firstly it punishes the sick and encourages children to come in who have germs which could make more vulnerable children far sicker. Secondly, there are some talented people who just take the odd day off here and there as they struggle with stress or boredom. I had a friend like this at uni whose parents did not make her go in when she chose not to. She got straight As at A level and went to Cambridge. Why force stress on someone who is clearly managing their own time just fine.

Deal with problem truants and show intelligent flexibility with everyone else.

manicinsomniac Tue 11-Dec-12 09:14:34

Certificates are fine I think - they're a nice reward but not getting one isn't a punishment and isn't going to upset anyone.

Parties, no - children who miss out on those would feel punished for something that might not be their fault.

Having said that, some children are off when they are practically healthy. It can be ridiculous.

DearJ0hn Tue 11-Dec-12 09:16:02

You're all writing this womans article for her you know...

AnaisB Tue 11-Dec-12 09:16:22

I was mortified to get an attendance certificate and made sure I was more frequently "ill" on subsequent years.

whistlestopcafe Tue 11-Dec-12 09:16:50

Very bad idea. Ds hasn't had a day off sick in over year why should he be rewarded for being lucky? In year 1 he had a three week absence because of illness. He was thoroughly miserable as he hated missing school why should he be punished a second time by missing the school party?

Ds has already said that if he is presented with a 100% attendance certificate this year he will hand it back as he doesn't agree with attendance awards.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 11-Dec-12 09:18:13

Possibly, DearJohn. grin

And later on, we'll be doing tomorrow's episode of the wright stuff.

Again.

I think schools like attendance awards because they are easy to give out and determine. You just get the database to tell you who has not been off that year. It's utterly pointless.

I remember my guidance teacher pulling me out of class in first year to talk to me about my attendance. I was off more than 1/3 of the time (and was clearly mucking up the school stats). However, I was off with recurrent tonsillitis, which I got all the time. I'd be at school for a week or two, then off for a week with tonsillitis again - until the health services finally decided that I should have my tonsils out at the end of 2nd year. I remember it because I was really annoyed at being told off for something that was not my fault.

whois Tue 11-Dec-12 09:19:27

They are a fucking stupid idea and have no place in a school because they:

Punish sick children
Encourage kids to go in when they are ill to spread to more kids and teachers
Punish children who have been absent through no fault of their own eg parent takes them out for a day

I think working towards individual attendance targets where there is an attendance problem is a good thing tho.

jojane Tue 11-Dec-12 09:19:54

The thing with these schemes is they are supposed to be targeting the children who don't come in for no other reason than their parents can't be bothered to get them in. It wot make a bit of notice to children who are genuinely ill or have numerous medical appointments. Parents who can't be bothered wont care if their child gets a certificate or not anyway.

(I know it's a journalist, but sometimes it's still worth pointing out how utterly stupid and lazy attendance awards are).

DS1 has had loads of them because he's never ill. He's just lucky to have a really effective immune system. The rest of the family all get ill, and DS1 is always absolutely fine. I have no idea how he manages it. He thinks the attendance awards are stupid too, and doesn't expect us to be 'proud' of him for being unusually healthy.

pleasesleepallnight Tue 11-Dec-12 09:21:21

The way DD's school does it is the class with the best attendance of the week gets an extra 5 minutes of playtime. At least this way there's not too much pressure on individual children and the whole class benefits from the reward.

EmpressOfTheNorthPole Tue 11-Dec-12 09:24:20

AYBU to what, Liketochat1? You've done an opening post which sets out both sides of the argument and doesn't give you own opinion, then not posted again.

I remember your thread where you asked why everyone thought you were a journalist. This is why.

In primary yabu

Primary children do not have in most cases control over getting to school.

The parents who are lax still won't give a stuff their kid has mixed out.

It punishes children with long term health problems and encourages people to send in poorly dc which in turn make children with long term issues more likely to be off ill.

CaptainVonTrapp Tue 11-Dec-12 09:33:14

a scheme which stresses the value of school attendance

should read

"a scheme which stresses the value of school attendance for sick children who then spread their illness to other children and staff, and are sick on the carpet"

And really who would support a scheme like this?

Hope someone can come along in support of these lazy inititatives attendance rewards to give your article some balance. But to be honest I rarely hear people speak positively about them

catsmother Tue 11-Dec-12 09:37:31

This may well be a journalist but I'm afraid their smug "making it in" (like, they walked 9 miles through waist high snow or bravely fought off flesh eating zombies en route) attitude does persist in some schools who reward kids with 100% attendance whilst making no allowance for illness, unavoidable hospital appointments, dental treatment (which can't be booked at other times e.g. national health dentist only attends practice at set hours) and so on.

The kids who attend 100% are either lucky enough to have kept in good health all year - which is a reward in itself is it not ? ..... or they have irresponsible parents who've sent them in despite overnight vomiting (for example) in of most schools' 48 hr policy for D&V.

Wasn't there a fairly recent thread where kids who'd not "achieved" 100% attendance were banned from a party ? ....

Thankfully this isn't the case at my child's school but I'd be kicking up one hell of a stink if it was. As everyone else has said you can't go about rewarding attendance in simple terms when there are so many genuine reasons for absence. It's very unkind to kids, especially primary age.

Liketochat1 Tue 11-Dec-12 09:38:20

You ladies are obsessed with journalists!! What has happened to you?! Lol! I haven't been back for a while as my nanny just slipped in the bathroom and is now on her way to hospital!
My opinion is obvious from the title surely! Anyway, looks like I may have to concede my opinion is wrong. Ouch!

catsmother Tue 11-Dec-12 09:38:52

(should read)

"in direct contravention of most schools' 48 hr policy"

CaptainVonTrapp Tue 11-Dec-12 09:45:15

Well tell us more OP. Why do you think they're such a good idea?

CaptainVonTrapp Tue 11-Dec-12 09:48:44

And here are some better ideas for awards that are actually achievable and wont automatically exclude some children from ever winning them.

Hardest worker.
Most improved.
Biggest contribution to class/team.

The sort of things that are really important in their school career. Not insisting they should go into school when they had D&V in the night.

multivac Tue 11-Dec-12 09:49:08

http://community.babycentre.co.uk/post/a22764435/attendance_is_all_about_effort?cpg=1

ChunkyPickle Tue 11-Dec-12 09:52:54

I Hate them.

Punishes kids who are sick, punishes kids who have parents who don't care enough to get them to school, encourages sick kids to go to school and spread it around, and will do nothing for truants who don't care anyway.

Besides, at primary school they're so young that it's not the kids problem usually if they're off anyhow (I didn't even think of truanting until secondary).

If my DS's school does it I shall be telling him and them what I think of them, even though I know that undermines the school, and generally I'd actually want to be supporting them.

bradyismyfavouritewiseman Tue 11-Dec-12 09:53:02

Op you have been told before that your style is journo. You even said that you could see and wanted to change it as you genuinely wanted to chat.

Di you really chat to people in this way?

echt Tue 11-Dec-12 10:00:52

Attendance awards = bollocks for the many reasons mentioned.

Also hardest worker - how the fucking fuck is that assessed? Harder working than whom?

Most improved - OK, as long as objective baseline criteria are established, but oh, hang on, what about those who kick in at top level but can't improve as much as this who are assessed at the lowest?

multivac Tue 11-Dec-12 10:02:45

The OP is almost certainly not a journalist.

I'd like to know, however, what it is about this site that means fewer than forty messages can convince her that she "might be wrong" when 28 pages on her other stomping ground didn't shift her an inch.

I think it's Evil Magic.

Arthurfowlersallotment Tue 11-Dec-12 10:05:07

As someone who worked in newspaper journalism for many years, I can tell you a good angle is parents forcing sick kids to school in order to get certificates.

grin

Are we sure it isn't someone from "the wright stuff" ? They seem to use us to fill out their show.

Goldmandra Tue 11-Dec-12 10:25:53

"Are we sure it isn't someone from "the wright stuff" ? They seem to use us to fill out their show."

Who cares if it gets a few more people thinking about what a pointless and cruel thing policy this is?

this is the exact opposite of my october thread sad DS and half his class couldn't go to the Halloween party due to a recurring illness. One look at his face would have answered your question.

What do you hope to acheive?
children not getting sick,
sick children coming to school and suffering whilst spreading illness and causing staff illness (great for education),
Th few 'lazy'/over protective parents won't change anyway.

ReallyTired Tue 11-Dec-12 10:43:33

Why does it matter to you if little jonny gets a certificate for 100% attendence. My son's school has certificates for no unauthorised absence. Even a child with special needs can manage that. They also have certificates for punctuality.

I think we have to stop caring about "fairness". It hardly prepares our children for the working world. Not all children get GCSE certificates. My son's friend got his 5 metre swimming certificate before him. Should we give all the non swimmers a 5 metre swimming certificate so they don't feel bad.

Rewarding children wiht 100% attendence is not punishing the non attenders anymore than not giving a 5 metre swimming certificate to a kid who can't swim.

MsElleTow Tue 11-Dec-12 10:46:50

YABU,

Both my DC have chronic illnesses and have never achieved 100% attendence, it didn't stop DS1 being in the top 3 of his school's GCSE achiver's though!

There was something being talked about at DS2's school the other day, where they said only people with 100% attendance could,go to some event. Ds2 asked if teacher X was banned from the Staff Christmas party because she has been off for most of the past term!

threesocksfullofchocs Tue 11-Dec-12 10:48:28

yabu
it discriminates against disability and illness

larrygrylls Tue 11-Dec-12 10:52:40

Reallytired,

Your post is contradictory. If we don't care about fairness, what is the point of a 100% attendance certificate? People at uni can attend zero lectures and still get firsts. People at work are allowed to manage their own time to a greater or lesser extent. So why reward an entirely false virtue?

Where lack of attendance is a problem, it should be addressed. If there are no academic issues, it is really a non issue, provided no extra teacher time is required. And perfect attendance is just one of those things. Nothing special at all, so why reward it?

notnagging Tue 11-Dec-12 11:02:46

Not 100%
My ds has never had a day off in 3 years. He was sick ystdy so won't be able to get his certificate this year. That is hardly fair when it's not his fault. He was struggling to go in even when he obviously wasn't well enough.

12ylnon Tue 11-Dec-12 11:02:56

I think it's an awful idea. If a child is ill, then they're ill, theres nothing anyone can do about that. People, especially children, need to rest if they're ill.
What about if they had a long term illness- can you imagine how awful that child would feel for not being able to attend?
Anyway, if a child in DSs school is ill, i'd really prefer for them to keep it at home and not be encouraged to attend if they're sick.

ReallyTired Tue 11-Dec-12 11:08:20

Its only a little bit of paper at my son's school. There is no massive party for children with 100% attendence. Why get your knickers in a twist that your child has not had a little red piece of paper signed by the head. Its hardly the prize of the century.

I feel attendence is important even if there are "no academic issues". Poor attendence means children don't reach their full potential.

Schools and employers are varied and have different ideas on what is considered important. The world of work is extremely varied and some jobs have strong emphasis on expecting you to be on time and there in person. (ie. teaching!) A few employers do offer bonuses for having no time off sick all year.

I think there are far bigger issues in schools than attendence certificates. Within reason head teachers should be at liberty to do as they see fit.

Pandemoniaa Tue 11-Dec-12 11:09:20

If your attempts to conceal your occupation weren't so very pisspoor, I'd be more inclined to help you write your article.

As it is, I shall simply say that until someone develops school attendance scheme that doesn't penalise absence through sickness, they remain an exceptionally blunt tool to bludgeon children and parents with.

goldenlula Tue 11-Dec-12 11:11:03

A sticker reward is ok in my opinion but actual physical rewards in terms of a party, gifts or money is wrong. Children can not help if they catch a bug and need to be excluded for 48 hours. I think these rewards encourage parents to send children into school regardless of if they are contagious and results in more children being ill and some will have responsible parents who follow the guidelines as it should be. I have 2 in school, neither as yet have had cp but when they do they will need to be of school for a week, hardly their fault is it? I feel having a party for children who have not missed school is punishing those who have due to illness.

moajab Tue 11-Dec-12 11:19:20

I don't have a probelm with certificates as our school seem to give out so many for different things that no child is really going to be upset if they don't get an attendance one (although that does make them a bit pointless!)

I think having parties for 100% attendance is stupid and cruel. All it will do is encourage children to come into school with D&V bugs, chicken pox etc.,as they wont want to miss their party. And it's punishing children for something that is not their fault. I know schools want to boost their attendance figures but seriosuly a child with D&V needs to be at home.

shinyrobot Tue 11-Dec-12 11:19:45

I really do not like them, like others I have a ds who always gets the 100% attendance certificate and then my dd who has a medical condition that means she is often too unwell to go into school, lots of hospital appointments etc who misses out.
I spoke to the head and they now do not count days where she is off with her condition or for a hospital appointment which does make it fairer. I still feel uncomfortable with rewarding good luck. I do recognise that there are parents who allow unecessary time off, I would question whether a certificate would really make a difference in those circumstances though.

TheWave Tue 11-Dec-12 11:43:45

Agree with many other posters, don't like them at all. Reward other things and work with the families who have "issues" around attendance.

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Tue 11-Dec-12 11:51:33

It would be even harder to persuade dd2 that sometimes she can't go to school. I had enough of an ear bashing when she had to have 48hrs off due to vomitting. How could I and school 'disrupt her learning'. If they are sick then they are sick. I do like the idea more of a party for good behaviour, children can learn to have more of an influence over that.

I am a journalist and you sound like one to me!

But regardless - I think they're awful. My poor nephew (who does feel things very deeply) was devastated when he went down with swine flu during the epidemic. After a horrible couple of weeks and a course if Tamiflu he returned to school just in time to be excluded from a cinema trip. It's just shit. And for those children who do care, cruel.

Goldmandra Tue 11-Dec-12 11:57:56

Rewarding children with 100% attendence is not punishing the non attenders anymore than not giving a 5 metre swimming certificate to a kid who can't swim.

The child who has the swimming badge has made and effort to learn something. It is a reward for an achievement.

My DD isn't able to attend 100% of the time through no fault of her own. Why should she and a small group of others be made to sit on the floor and feel singled out while the vast majority of the school stand up for a round of applause and a certificate every half term?

I am all for children celebrating each other's achievements and she'd be happy to applaud any child or small group of children singled out because they have worked for something, whether she has achieved that thing or not.

I am not in favour of rewarding the majority, thereby singling out a minority of children who are unlucky enough to be prevented from attending school through illness or disability.

Startail Tue 11-Dec-12 12:04:15

DD1 won't get two weeks perfect attendance house points.

If she'd gone to get her medications checked last Friday she would get this weeks.

If she had she would have missed an important test, yesterday she missed PE which she isn't in a fit state to do.

Which ever way you look at it, it's daft.

ReallyTired Tue 11-Dec-12 14:03:28

What do you think of children with a an appaulling punctuallity record being given a star chart. Ds has been promised by the head that if he manages an entire half term with no lates he will get a kit kat. (He doesn't care about the possiblity of his parents getting fined.)

Surely that is is unfair on the children who have never been late and don't have a star chart.

Prehaps some schools go over top about attendence.

Liketochat1 Tue 11-Dec-12 14:05:44

I have clearly missed my calling as a journalist. I'm looking for a career when the children are all at school, perhaps this should be it! I feel a bit flattered actually.
Thanks for giving your views. I was a teacher and a trained Ed psych before I became a mum and am thus interested in education and discussing it. I've thought these initiatives were a good idea as I feel there are lots of ways for children to be rewarded and recognized in school- attendance being just one of them. If a child doesn't win an attendance prize- they might win an achievement or effort one, the prize for being the most friendly, well mannered, most organized and so on.
I felt that if even one child in every school is encouraged to attend school because of these schemes, like having a party for attendance, then I felt they added value. Because of course for lots of children getting to school isn't all that easy. Many don't have parental support so have no breakfast and dress or get to school alone. If these initiatives, alongside a wider support network, help a child in this situation, then I see merit in them. Obviously LEAs, head teachers and Ed psychs who consult each other when planning these initiatives think so too.
Anyway, the majority believe I'm 'unreasonable' to hold these views. Fair enough. I also apologize if some people don't like the tone of my posts but can assure you all I'm not a journalist.

ZZZenAgain Tue 11-Dec-12 14:08:01

I really don't like the idea of attendance parties and attendance certificates

That's a different issue entirely. It's working with a child whose attendance is an issue. Handing out rewards for 100% attendance at primary school doesn't incentivise anything. It's like rewarding people for having naturally blonde hair.

IWipeArses Tue 11-Dec-12 14:14:13

But if those children without support have already missed a day, exactly how would there being a party they're already excluded from help?
The LEAs, head teachers and Ed psychs who think this would help need to look at the bigger picture.

Having a party doesn't help those children who are suffering because their parents can't be arsed to take them to school. In fact, the idea that it's rewarding those children who've managed to get themselves to school despite their parents will only put those children off more. It says, 'not only are your parents feckless, but you aren't doing enough yourself. Look, little johnnie got himself to school every day, so why didn't you?'

How about schools think about the children in their classes and come up with ideas to help them all, rather than applying short-sighted, and often very lazy, one-size fits all reward strategies?

naturalbaby Tue 11-Dec-12 14:17:52

children should be rewarded for effort, not how many days their parent/carer gets them to school on time.

ReallyTired Tue 11-Dec-12 14:20:07

I think that certificates are Ok, but a party is going to far.

It would be interesting to know what initiatives actually work for improving attendence. This is an area for research rather than ponificating on a mumsnet thread.

Prehaps LEAs and head teachers need to look at which schools have good attendence and copy good practice. (Comparing socially similar schools.)

LoopsInHoops Tue 11-Dec-12 14:25:32

You have a nanny and are a SAHM? confused

You can't just look at other schools and copy 'good practice' because their situation probably isn't identical to yours. You can get ideas from what other people do, but you really have to think about the circumstances in your own schools, and individual classes, and the individuals within those classes.

There is loads of research about improving school attendance in all sorts of circumstances. A significant chunk of it is about the need to work with families and communities so that they value sending their children to school and are motivated to do so. Handing out perfect attendance certificates may be cheap and easy to do (which is by it's so bloody ubiquitous), but they hardly address the actual issues that underlie attendance problems in primary schools.

Pandemoniaa Tue 11-Dec-12 14:37:12

Disregarding the perfectly reasonable reasons why some children can never achieve 100% attendance (many listed above so I shan't repeat them) it was always my experience that the very parents who were not motivated to send their children to school were precisely those who wouldn't have given a toss for a certificate, let alone a party.

I am a believer in tackling problems as they occur rather than introducing initiatives that can only be unfair if applied across the board.

The school my dc go to seems to have a good balance with stuff like this.

They focus on making the children want to be at school - they line up outside and have a bit of competition about which class is ready to go in first and that sort of thing (stuff all kids can take part in).

They also reward 100% attendance on a week-by-week basis. Basically on a Friday afternoon all children that have been in all week go into a draw. 2 kids then win 2 free items from the 'healthy' tuck shop and get to go first in the queue. It's a more manageable chunk of time, the kids seem to understand that sort of time period better and because the 'award' is a prize draw it doesn't single out people who have been off.

YABU crap idea ds has had 2 bouts of sickness this year and had time off when his terminally ill nanna died. Dont see why he should miss out a party because of this. bad idea which wont be well received i dont think. manage attendance individually and plan parties for whole school

ouryve Tue 11-Dec-12 14:43:06

YABU.

I can just see the certificate "congratulations, your wee precious never succumbed to gastroenteritis by day and was brave enough to share the flu virus with the whole class, but never had a day off"

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Tue 11-Dec-12 14:44:33

So glad they didn't have this sort of nonsense when my daughter was at school. She could barely manage a week of perfect attendance because of her disability. Excluding her from school parties would have made an already bad situation even worse.

DS1 has a copy of Giraffes Can't Dance with a perfect attendance certificate from primary 1 or 2 stuck onto the inside cover of it. He already had a copy of the book, and I couldn't help but feel that the book would have been much better given to someone else in the class. The school had a very deprived catchment and the kids whose parents couldn't manage to get them to school on time or at all (for a variety of reasons, including heroin addiction) were probably the kids that would have most benefitted from the gift of a book.

Goldmandra Tue 11-Dec-12 14:53:38

If a child doesn't win an attendance prize- they might win an achievement or effort one, the prize for being the most friendly, well mannered, most organized and so on.

By that token you could also give out prizes for the child from the cleanest house, any child who has never had headlice, the 10 children who have grown most this year and the child who's mum made the best cakes for the summer fete. these would all be just as fair and warranted.

autumnmum Tue 11-Dec-12 14:55:47

My DD didn't get one because my dad (her grandad) died and shock horror I took her out of school to go to the funeral. The school said it couldn't differentiate between types of absence.

You know, there are probably quite a lot of parents who'd delight in those awards goldmandra!

fridgepants Tue 11-Dec-12 18:19:16

My mum was proud of me getting a 100% attendance certificate each year in secondary school.

In practice, what this meant was that if I was ill, she sent me to school anyway. I missed a hospital appointment to have warts removed because it fell on a school day - luckily nobody noticed them and teased me about it.

Now I'm an adult with a chronic illness, so it didn't do me any good other than making me look like a dork at end of year Mass.

CaptainVonTrapp Tue 11-Dec-12 18:19:57

But getting headlice is pure luck goldmandra - just like attendance.

Well mannered/ most effort are things that any child has the potential to achieve. And perhaps a different child every year. Not just the one blessed with the super immune system.

Panzee Tue 11-Dec-12 18:25:19

A boy in our school used to have a hell of a time. A rubbish early life leading to problems with schoolwork, friendships, everything really. Got stick from pupils and less sympathetic teachers.

But he came every day. He battled on every day. Even though he must have hated so many of those days he came in anyway.

He got a certificate and earned it every day he was there. It would have been so easy for him to fake illness or truant, but he didn't.

SantaWearsGreen Tue 11-Dec-12 18:30:03

Yabu. I was always a bit hmm about kids who were ALWAYS at school, never a day off. Why don't they get sick? Are they robots? A girl in my secondary school had 100% attendance for the five yrs we were there shock wtaf.

None of us were impressed by the 100% attendance kids and I don't think they really wanted a big song and dance making about it either. Why be proud that you never missed a day of school? Its just odd.. and its punishing kids for being sick or going to appointments too.

travellingwilbury Tue 11-Dec-12 18:36:15

I think its an odd thing to reward .

Well done for being in the building ! Yay for you .

The fact that your presence spread the norovirus to twenty children is by the by .

Bloody stupid award .

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Tue 11-Dec-12 18:40:14

I think it's a terrible idea. You're punishing illness an encouring presenteeism which perpetuates illness and responsible parents having to take more time off work.

Poor ds1 has been the victim if selfish wankers once too many is term and I'm fucking sick of it. Parents bragging about how they send their kids in delete d&v and tonsillitis, etc!

So no, to reiterate, 100% attendance parties or certificates are a crap idea.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Tue 11-Dec-12 18:43:00

I am really torn on this. On one hand, I don't want children to be sent into school when they shouldn't be, and I don't think it's fair to make children miss out because of genuine illness.

On the other, I have been staggered at how many parents take their dc out of school for ridiculous reasons since I've worked at a primary school. There are usually a couple of children a month who are taken out for holidays, or because they have stayed with family for the weekend, or they are celebrating a family members birthday. So many parents phone the school and lie about their children being ill when the child will happily come in the nest day and tell us all about what they have really been doing. Something needs to be done to discourage this, because it really is disruptive and it's something I personally think is very wrong.

At least when a child comes in when they shouldn't they can be sent home or isolated.

JassyRadlett Tue 11-Dec-12 19:38:12

There is a dreadful culture of presenteeism in workplaces in this country, which is fed by this similar nonsense in schools.

Every workplace I've ever been in, people drag themselves in when they're ill because they think it's expected of them. They aren't that productive, their illness lasts longer than if they'd stayed home and they usually manage to infect other people. Terrible for productivity and for people's well-being. Largely the fault of employers (and now I run a team of 20 I spend a lot of time sternly sending I'll people home) but also a wider cultural issue that's self-perpetuating.

I wouldn't give an adult employee a reward for perfect attendance as it's either due to luck or irresponsibility. Same should go for kids.

Fakebook Tue 11-Dec-12 19:48:13

I think it's a load of shit. 100% attendance doesn't mean anything.

Goldmandra Tue 11-Dec-12 19:51:55

But getting headlice is pure luck goldmandra - just like attendance.

That is exactly the point I was clearly unsuccessfully trying to make.

If we are rewarding children for 100% attendance, why not for other ridiculous pseudo-achievements too?

XBenedict Tue 11-Dec-12 19:52:13

I think it's an awful incentive, it has nothing to do with effort or achievement and has everything to do with luck!

HoHoHokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Tue 11-Dec-12 19:54:25

Ours only does certificates for 100% and if you have no days off in a school year the head takes you out to a soft play place for an afternoon.

I think it's a load of old rubbish.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Tue 11-Dec-12 19:55:47

So what should schools do to discourage parents from taking their fit and healthy children out of school and lying about illness?

Goldmandra Tue 11-Dec-12 19:56:00

At least when a child comes in when they shouldn't they can be sent home or isolated.

It's too late by then. They've already infected lots of others and they probably feel pretty awful too.

I think it's a ridiculous policy which has little effect, the only purpose of which is to show that HTs are trying to increase their attendance.

I have had a conversation with a HT who told me she only does it to appease the governors. She knew it wasn't achieving anything.

XBenedict Tue 11-Dec-12 19:59:14

I think it's a ridiculous policy which has little effect, the only purpose of which is to show that HTs are trying to increase their attendance.

I think you're spot on there! And I have to add as a parent governor, if this policy was suggested I would fight against it!

Appropriate attendance would be a better approach - how you would achieve this I am not sure confused

tethersjinglebellend Tue 11-Dec-12 19:59:20

It's a ridiculous practice which rewards and punishes children for something they have no control over.

At primary school, parents make decisions about attendance, not children. Throw them a party.

tethersjinglebellend Tue 11-Dec-12 20:03:04

"If we are rewarding children for 100% attendance, why not for other ridiculous pseudo-achievements too?"

Exactly. In fact, one of the biggest factors in a child's academic success is parental income- why not reward the children whose parents earn over, say, £40,000?

thebody Tue 11-Dec-12 20:03:29

Well at dds middle school the school trip ended in the death of a fantastic teacher and disablement and injuries if many of our girls who all had good attendance records before.

The school have been fantastic and supportive and we have supported the teachers right back.

That's achievement that deserves praise.

XBenedict Tue 11-Dec-12 20:04:30

thebody sorry to hear that sad

lola88 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:06:21

My sister sometimes doesn't send DN to school because she can't be bothered to walk up she has mental health issues and some days just decided to opt out why should DN be punished for her mothers mistakes, she is 5 and can not go on her own.

There are a lot of children who are not taken to school by their parents more than you would believe it is not their fault.

thebody Tue 11-Dec-12 20:12:17

Thanks x

Chandon Tue 11-Dec-12 20:12:39

I think it sucks to punish sick children and reward those parents who sen their kids to school even though they are poorly! madness.

Nowhere else in the world, nowhere!

Makes me cross

ballstoit Tue 11-Dec-12 20:18:14

YABU.

As I pointed out at the DCs school, having soap in the toilets and regularly reminding children to wash their hands would have a much greater impact on levels of illness and attendance than awards which discriminate against children with long term health problems.

HSMM Tue 11-Dec-12 20:28:40

DD's best friend regularly got her 100% attendance certificates at primary school. She went in whether she was ill or not!

FairyChristmas Tue 11-Dec-12 20:31:20

Think I'm going to be the lone voice here but I think good attendance should be rewarded. It's not about punishing those who don't get in every day, it's highlighting that some children do (and no, I'm not criticising those who are ill).

I work in a school and had a letter last year from my HT thanking me for my work and saying that she was aware I had 100% attendance.

A gold certificate would have been nice! grin

Goldmandra Tue 11-Dec-12 20:51:23

I work in a school and had a letter last year from my HT thanking me for my work and saying that she was aware I had 100% attendance.

Did the HT pull out everyone who had 100% attendance and lead a round of applause in a staff meeting or just write you a nice private letter of appreciation?

How would you have felt if illness had kept only you off work and your HT had paid for the rest of the staff to go out for nice meal to celebrate their good luck in remaining healthy?

Did the HT treat the children with the same respect and write them them individually to congratulate them? If not why were the children treated differently?

RiaUnderTheMistletoe Tue 11-Dec-12 20:51:43

Why does having a good immune system or parents who disregard the 48 hour rule need rewarding?

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 11-Dec-12 21:31:10

Are the parents who take little Johnnie or Janetta out of school to visit Great Uncle Horace's ingrowing toenail going to be dissuaded from doing so by the promise of a certificate or end of term party?

ToffeeCaramel Tue 11-Dec-12 22:10:23

Yes they are a great idea because they encourage children who have a sickness bug to go to school and spread the bug around to other children.

manicinsomniac Tue 11-Dec-12 22:13:13

I have worked in two totally different types of school where I think awarding attendance (not punishing non attendance - 2 different things imo) is important.

The first is private schools. When freed from official restrictions and fining you would not believe how often kids are out of school. Recently we have had absences for:
illness, medical appts, doctors appts, religious occasions, family parties, family holidays, alton towers, being tired, looking round future schools, christmas shopping, needing some chill out time, going to watch the rugby/football/cricket, competing in sport/drama/music, going to London, going to the theatre.
Obviously some of those reasons are good ones but so many aren't! In the week before have term we had 20 families of children absent because they'd gone on holiday early. 20!! It's ridiculous. Attendance awards might help some of these children.

The second is schools in very deprived areas where there are children who are getting themselves and their younger siblings up, breakfasted and into school every day without the assistance of parents. I knew a 9 year old who did this without fail every day while his single mum worked an early shift at tescos. They were an amazing family and deserved every bit of recognition they got.

CaptainVonTrapp Tue 11-Dec-12 22:22:53

How would attendance awards help the children you describe in the private school manic?

If their parents have decided to keep them off for a reason they believe is valid (and most of them sound like perfectly reasonable absences) then it is totally out of the control of the chilld.

Blu Tue 11-Dec-12 22:26:30

During the swine flu outbreak a mother I knew sent her child to school in the last few days of term with a headache, fever etc, beccause she did not want him to lose his 100% Attendance Certificate. RESULT!

RiaUnderTheMistletoe Tue 11-Dec-12 22:28:43

While the children in your second example manic certainly deserve recognition I don't think putting them in the same category as children who happen not to get sick is helpful or encouraging.

Goldmandra Tue 11-Dec-12 22:58:33

* I knew a 9 year old who did this without fail every day while his single mum worked an early shift at tescos.*

Clearly that child should not be lumped in with any general attendance award but should be singled out for individual (and possibly private) recognition. This isn't an argument for general 100% attendance awards.

The fact remains that AFAIK there is no evidence that upsetting children who have long term illnesses and disabilities by rewarding the lucky ones in this way actually has a positive effect on attendance figures.

TuftyFinch Tue 11-Dec-12 23:03:11

Attendance parties and certificates are an awful idea. They:
Reward children for not getting sick
Reward children who get sick but parents send them in anyway
Punish children who get sick
Punish children who have ongoing health issues and need to attend appointments

I could go on but...

tethersjinglebellend Tue 11-Dec-12 23:35:20

IME, the child in manic's second example is far more likely to be excluded from any 100% attendance award or party than to receive recognition.

higgyjig Tue 11-Dec-12 23:39:46

Of course you don't want to punish the genuinely sick but the tiny sniffles some parents keep their darlings off for...

tethersjinglebellend Wed 12-Dec-12 00:04:00

Then punish the parents, not the children.

TuftyFinch Wed 12-Dec-12 00:15:42

Exactly.
What tethers said.

whois Wed 12-Dec-12 00:49:41

IME, the child in manic's second example is far more likely to be excluded from any 100% attendance award or party than to receive recognition.

Yup. Those are the kids that should be getting a bloody great big helping hand and some recognition for their achievements. 100% attendance is almost certainly not going to be of those achievements.

*Recently we have had absences for:
illness, medical appts, doctors appts, religious occasions, family parties, family holidays, alton towers, being tired, looking round future schools, christmas shopping, needing some chill out time, going to watch the rugby/football/cricket, competing in sport/drama/music, going to London, going to the theatre*

Ha ha they are all good reasons for a primary age kid to have a day off. Well, maybe not the being tired one but depends of its 'tired and a bit illl and manky' or just 'fancied a lie in'.

HollyBerryBush Wed 12-Dec-12 07:01:04

The culture of 'my child cannot achieve this so no one can be recognised for their achievement' sucks.

One method of awarding bonuses and payrises on attendance - so if you have any hope of your child acquiring and holding down a job, a little bit of real world is beneficial.

Why shouldn't my child be rewarded for going to school eveyday and not making a nuisance of himself?

Chandon Wed 12-Dec-12 07:20:10

BeCause being sent to school when you are poorly is not much of an achievement

Kytti Wed 12-Dec-12 07:24:00

I bloody hate these things, they had them at our last school. 'Let's reward parents who send their kids into school sick.' They should reward for hitting the attendance target, or something else.

I also have a friend with a daughter who regularly has to go to hospital for check-ups, so that's her out as well.

"Let's make you all look crap if you look after your children properly." That's what it says to me.

cory Wed 12-Dec-12 07:30:18

I have two children.

One is ambitious, hardworking, conscientious and struggles against pain every day. She never loses heart and is determined to get an education. When she is ill she works at home to catch up without anyone telling her to. Because of her absences she has to work far harder than her peers to keep up- and she has to do it when she is in pain and on medication which affects her concentration. But because of her chronic condition she will never be eligible for any awards and will not be allowed to attend her own prom party. Even if she was never ill again (which isn't going to happen given her condition), her hospital appointments will see to that.

The other is lazy, uninterested and low level disruptive at school. He only does his homework if you stand over him the whole time. He openly admits to doing the bare minimum in lessons, because he doesn't like having to make an effort. But he has excellent health. And always happy to go into school: with the level of effort he puts in, school is hardly a burden.

So he gets rewarded. Can you explain what for, OP?

cory Wed 12-Dec-12 07:38:18

I wonder if the OP has ever been in the situation of having to drag an unwilling child to painful and frightening hospital treatment with the added knowledge that this will make him miss out on the school party or (even worse) keep his table from winning their coveted award.

In a situation where the HT holds a weekly assembly stressing that the children who have 100% attendance are GOOD and children who fall under 85% are failing the school, it is not very easy to convince a child that the physio which takes her out of school for an afternoon every week and puts her in pain for hours is a GOOD THING. Children of a certain age tend to believe more in headteachers than in their parents. If the head says they shouldn't be taken out of school, they will believe that, whatever arguments they put up.

Fortunately, dd has now got to an age where she realises that the best chance of ruining her chances in life would be not to go for the physio and not to have the ultra sound scan. Even more fortunately, her present school agrees with her.

Fidget275 Wed 12-Dec-12 07:39:01

We have this system. It doesn't work... Once a day is missed then children are no longer eligible for the gold (the only certificate that comes with a £5 voucher) so are not particularly bothered.
Parents dont care... those that make the effort are switched off by the scheme the minute they have to take children to a hospital/dentist apt and its amazing how many of those that are targeted for unexplained low absence just hand their child the £5 anyway.
Personally, i think less of the parents whose children have been in 100% but spend a lot of time sleeping off a fever in the book corner or crying because they have tummy ache. One parent actually refused to pick up a sick child at 10am in the morning --because -she didnt want to ruin her plans of shopping and lunch with the girls- she wanted her son to get 100% attendance! Pah!

Fidget275 Wed 12-Dec-12 07:40:00

Sorry i still haven't figured out that strikethrough thing! X

ithaka Wed 12-Dec-12 07:42:22

I agree Cory.

I also have 2 (surviving) children.

Older girl is fit as a flea and regularly has 100% attendance in school.

Little one has asthma, it has at times been scary and life threatening.

I know big sis feels sorry for little sis having to have asthma and hospital admissions, needles, drips etc. So big sis is aware she is very very lucky to not have a chronic condition.

Now, if my older daughter can understand that it is luck alone that means she doesn't have a chronic condition, why do 'teachers, LEAs and Ed Psychs' struggle with that concept?

Attendance certificates - why not encourage children to play the lottery, or take up gambling? They are both prime examples of rewarding luck. Personally, I'd rather schools rewarded endeavour.

cory Wed 12-Dec-12 07:48:02

Liketochat1 Tue 11-Dec-12 14:05:44

"I felt that if even one child in every school is encouraged to attend school because of these schemes, like having a party for attendance, then I felt they added value. Because of course for lots of children getting to school isn't all that easy. Many don't have parental support so have no breakfast and dress or get to school alone. If these initiatives, alongside a wider support network, help a child in this situation, then I see merit in them. Obviously LEAs, head teachers and Ed psychs who consult each other when planning these initiatives think so too"

And if even one child attempts suicide because she feels she will never be able to live up to these expectations and she might as well pack in now?

OP, the child was mine. sad

cory Wed 12-Dec-12 07:49:27

Her headteacher has long gone out of her life. He doesn't have to know about her self-harming or sleepless nights or that desperate attempt to escape a life of failure. He probably looks back smugly at his well informed work to improve attendance. We are the ones who have to live with the fallout- and so does her present school.

And before you ask, dd did not get into this state because she missed out on a party. She got into this state because she had to sit through endless lectures on how children with low attendance were ruining their chances in life and letting everybody down. Dd is the kind of person who cares desperately about not letting others down. Ds otoh couldn't give a toss.

cory Wed 12-Dec-12 07:51:02

your dd1 sounds lovely, ithaka

catsmother Wed 12-Dec-12 07:55:40

"The culture of 'my child cannot achieve this so no one can be recognised for their achievement' sucks.

One method of awarding bonuses and payrises on attendance - so if you have any hope of your child acquiring and holding down a job, a little bit of real world is beneficial.

Why shouldn't my child be rewarded for going to school eveyday and not making a nuisance of himself?"

Jeez ...... (bangs head on wall).

My child goes to school every day - as do 100s of 1000s of other - when they can. If they have a hospital appointment, they can't. They are not willfully avoiding school - they are receiving medical treatment. If they have chickenpox, they can't .... I presume, if we tried, they'd be sent home immediately and I'd have a strip torn off me. Etc etc etc.

That has nothing to do with the real world ..... other than I suppose if, as an adult, I got chickenpox, then I'd also be sent home from work. I do hope - very much - that my child will get a job - though I suspect that will have a great deal more to do with the economic climate rather than them having to see an eye specialist for half a day when they were 8. I also hope they'll be a conscientious worker and hold down their job - I very much doubt they'll be tempted to "swing the lead" just because they once had a few days off for D&V as a schoolchild.

What a bloody patronising remark.

You can't equate adult absenteeism with childhood absence from school for genuine and unavoidable reasons. I guess the nearest link you can make is between that and parents who can't be arsed to get out of bed and/or who fancy a day out with the kids. That is a parent issue and should be taken up with them.

When my child does go to school I don't consider it an achievement. They are simply doing what they are supposed to do at that age. Younger children can't get themselves to school independently of their parents so whether they go or not isn't due to their effort/determination/hard work/conscience or whatever. Older children who do take themselves to school do perhaps have to make more of a conscious effort if they have the sort of disinterested parent who doesn't give a s**t but generally speaking, older kids with difficult home circumstances are known by the school and they can be supported and/or "rewarded" for their efforts in more discreet ways. Rewarding - or not - simply on attendance is still wrong for older kids because they do still get ill, do still have accidents, do still go to hospital etc.

Goldmandra Wed 12-Dec-12 08:20:05

*The culture of 'my child cannot achieve this so no one can be recognised for their achievement' sucks.

Why shouldn't my child be rewarded for going to school eveyday and not making a nuisance of himself?*

It isn't an achievement for the child! It is a lottery.

Your child should be rewarded for not making a nuisance of himself if that is an achievement for him.

The majority of children should not be rewarded for being lucky in a process which inevitably singles out and punishes a few who have had illnesses or have long term disabilities and health problems.

Yes, catsmother. The issue is that 100% attendance for a child in primary school generally isn't an achievement. It just means they haven't been ill. You may as well choose to reward them for having feet a certain size or anything else that isn't within their control. Why not choose to reward children for things that reflect their own efforts and attitudes instead?

cory Wed 12-Dec-12 08:24:10

What Goldmandra says. The current focus on attendance rewards children like my ds who quite frankly aren't putting any effort in at all. Shuffling off to school when I turf him out in the mornings is hardly an achievement. If he actually listened when he was there, that would indeed be an achievement for him and worth rewarding. But there is no school awards ceremony for paying attention.

catsmother - where in the "real world" do you get a pay rise for turning up every day as opposed to being good at your job?

Of course repeated absence for no reason would be frowned on - but one or two authorised absences for a good reason are accepted as part of life.

I'm trying to imagine an appraisal where a manager says "you've achieved all your targets and won the department an award, but I'm afraid since you took the day off when you had norovirus you won't be getting the pay rise you were expecting" hmm

Pigsinblankets Wed 12-Dec-12 08:56:16

I can see why schools do it - to discourage holidays in term time most probably but punishing those children who are ill is ridiculous. Surely it's in the best interest of the school that children who are ill with contagious viruses etc are off school so they don't pass it around!

cory Wed 12-Dec-12 09:07:58

Longtalljosie Wed 12-Dec-12 08:45:01

"I'm trying to imagine an appraisal where a manager says "you've achieved all your targets and won the department an award, but I'm afraid since you took the day off when you had norovirus you won't be getting the pay rise you were expecting""

Or one where the manager says "you haven't reached a single target, you sit around day-dreaming all day and let your colleagues do your work for you, but you have been present in the office every single hour required and we have therefore decided to award you a large pay rise".

Though surely it wasn't catsmother who was responsible for the remark about the real world- she was just quoting HollyBerryBush (and banging her head on the wall in frustration).

5dcsandallthelittlesantahats Wed 12-Dec-12 09:15:06

our school has certificates for 100% attendance at the end of year assembly. For the last two years its been "sadly no child managed 100% attendance this year".

catsmother Wed 12-Dec-12 09:33:11

Yep .... wasn't me citing "real world", I was indeed responding to a previous poster who made the very dubious link between good school attendance and getting and holding down a job in adult life.

I think rewarding attendance at school sucks and am amazed at anyone who thinks their precious little poppet should be rewarded for simply turning up.

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Wed 12-Dec-12 09:44:51

One method of awarding bonuses and payrises on attendance - so if you have any hope of your child acquiring and holding down a job, a little bit of real world is beneficial.

If you were at all familiar with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission website, you would know that this constitutes indirect discrimination and is unlawful.

Oh oops sorry catsmother!

Was going to comment on how rediculous these awards are but the reasons have already been repeated again and again so I will go bang my head against a wall instead!
Rewards should be for achievement and encouraging others to strive for the same not for something out of anyone's control.

tethersjinglebellend Wed 12-Dec-12 10:27:25

"One method of awarding bonuses and payrises on attendance - so if you have any hope of your child acquiring and holding down a job, a little bit of real world is beneficial."

This would only be an accurate comparison if bonuses were awarded to you for how often your parents went to work.

"Why shouldn't my child be rewarded for going to school eveyday and not making a nuisance of himself?"

He can make as much of a nuisance of himself as he likes. Technically, he could set fire to the school every day (exclusions notwithstanding) and still receive an attendance award.

cory Wed 12-Dec-12 10:32:48

I am loath to mention anything that could be taken as criticism of dd's current school, because they are absolutely wonderful and will get their reward in heaven. But it does hurt a little bit that dd, who has had to fight so hard for her education and who has sacrificed so much, will be the one who isn't allowed to go to her prom.

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Wed 12-Dec-12 10:41:18

Again why should parents who are utterly selfish be rewarded? If a poorly child is sent to school to gain their 100% attendance certificate it is generally fulfilling a patents need to gain bragging rights about little janes wonderful certificate and general marvellousness. Whilst my ds comes home in tears having been warned about his attendance! All legitimate reasons. Car crash, sent home, sent home, tonsillitis, sent home. The times he was sent home was because others had sent children in with d&v!

One parent even brought their poxy child to a whole school assembly FFs!

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 10:45:15

So many of the posts on here are talking about how unfair this is to children who have genuine reasons for absence, and I agree. But no one has any suggestions on how to prevent or at least encourage parents to send their healthy children into school instead of taking an extra day for their weekend break, or to send them in instead of going out for lunch for Grannies birthday or whatever.

While I can see that awards for 100% attendance is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, I think something does have to be done about parents who have so little consideration for the rest of the class that they think its ok to take their children out of school whenever they feel like it. So many parents lie to the school and phone to say their children are sick, but then the children come in the next day and tell the truth.

I've already asked on this thread, and not been answered, but does anyone have any better suggestions on how to tackle this problem?

cory Wed 12-Dec-12 10:49:47

I think the key has got to be good communication. A school with good communication with parents, which manages to get across in a positive way how important their child's attendance is, will imo have a better chance of succeeding than one that is known for not supporting parents with problems. Dd's former school was totally unsupportive and it didn't make me feel very loyal to them. Her present school is incredibly supportive, and I really really would like to do anything to help them meet their targets- as long as they recognise that some things are not in my power.

MummytoKatie Wed 12-Dec-12 10:50:30

As some one who has had a toddler with a chest infection that has turned into a horrible stomach bug I applaud these measures.

Currently I am getting into work at 7am, working until lunchtime, coming home to relieve poor vomit splatted husband who then goes to work whilst I clear up vomit for the afternoon. We then put dd to bed, work all evening and collapse into bed only to be woken 3 times by poor dd.

However, I am a mother who cares about dd's education so in two years in this circumstance I will be able to drop her at school with a clear conscience. When the (vomit splatted) teacher calls to ask me to pick her up I shall explain how important attendance is.

I never knew virtue was so rewarding!

cory Wed 12-Dec-12 10:54:08

I'll go one further: I really really would like to do anything to help dd's current school meet their targets because they recognise that some things are not in my power.

tethersjinglebellend Wed 12-Dec-12 11:19:42

"But no one has any suggestions on how to prevent or at least encourage parents to send their healthy children into school instead of taking an extra day for their weekend break, or to send them in instead of going out for lunch for Grannies birthday or whatever."

Any consequence for the things you describe should be for the parents, not the child- the most effective consequences may differ from council to council or even school to school... But I would really like to know why attendance is targeted above other factors shown to have a greater impact on children's educational outcomes, such as household income and continuity. There is no consequence for children of parents who earn very little or move frequently. I am not suggesting that these parents should face a consequence, just that these are also factors in children's education which need to be addressed.

cory, I actually find it worse when an otherwise great school insists on implementing such a system of attendance awards.

"But no one has any suggestions on how to prevent or at least encourage parents to send their healthy children into school instead of taking an extra day for their weekend break, or to send them in instead of going out for lunch for Grannies birthday or whatever."

Call them into the school. They might not come, but they'll know they've been rumbled. It's their bad behaviour, not the child's.

Differentiate between authorised absence (eg known disabilities, hospital appointments) and sick days. Ask for doctor's notes for persistent sick-leave takers.

cory Wed 12-Dec-12 11:45:29

But please don't ask for doctor's note every week for children with a known chronic condition. They are £20 a shot!

blackeyedsusan Wed 12-Dec-12 11:48:32

it is possible that attendance certificates and parties reduce the school overall attendance levels. some parents/children are swayed by this to try and attend whilst poorly, thus infecting several of their class mates/siblings and some of whom may be more prone to getting poorlier with the same infection... their parents keep them off school and the children are, in effect, punished because another child wanted a certificate.

No, cory, I quite agree. Anyone with a known chronic condition should be left to get on with it, they have quite enough on their plate.

ArcticRoll Wed 12-Dec-12 11:51:19

No I think it's a terrible idea; you will be rewarding parents who send in ill kids and making children with chronic health conditions suffer even more.

Well indeed blackeyedsusan. There's someone in my office who prides himself on coming in no matter how sick he is. And so we all go down with it... it would be better for all of us if he'd just stay home and confine his germs to his own sofa...

the school i work at and send dcs to send letters to parent either thanking them for sending children and supporting school in meeting targets or that their dc is below average and will be monitored. I have called parents in and said X has been telling us about his holiday/baking at home/shopping etc. parents are often very embarrassed and don't do it again. We also send certificates and have attendance rewards which i hate and am trying to stop The parents who these are aimed at really don't care so they do nothing except dishearten dcs.
I think the only solutions are to toughen up and call parents in when absence is suspect and differentiate between authorised/unauthorised absence.

Lancelottie Wed 12-Dec-12 12:04:48

It must get very dispiriting too for the admin staff who have to send out pointless 'attendance' letters.

The last one of these I've had came after the school had repeatedly sent my child home because they were fed up of listening to him coughing. The previous one came in the same post as the 'sorry about your appendicitis' card from the child's classmates.

Both times I phoned up and asked what the point was, and both times they said not to take it personally, it was just something the HAD to send out.

Goldmandra Wed 12-Dec-12 14:43:30

Both times I phoned up and asked what the point was, and both times they said not to take it personally, it was just something the HAD to send out.

That's the thing isn't it? This is about HTs being seen to do the right thing, not about implementing strategies which can be shown to be effective or proportionate.

When my DD was in a very bad way and was getting unreasonably distressed by the thought of having to sit amongst a forest of legs being looked down on by the masses of 100% attenders, I kept her at home on the days it was happening. I did tell the school my reasons and had the backing of the CAMHS psychologist. This meant that their policy actively damaged their own attendance figures.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Wed 12-Dec-12 15:34:09

To me the answer is in recording authorised and unauthorised absences, so if sick and school is informed its authorised if a child just doesn't show up, its unauthorised.

IWipeArses Wed 12-Dec-12 16:45:15

That's how they do it, it's all counted as absence though.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Wed 12-Dec-12 18:36:54

Oh sorry, thought it would make sense if only unauthorised was counted.

Goldmandra Wed 12-Dec-12 19:11:40

Oh sorry, thought it would make sense if only unauthorised was counted.

People would just call their children in sick more instead of being honest about taking them on holiday.

Hulababy Wed 12-Dec-12 19:15:42

Can't see the point in attendance certificates and rewards myself, esp at primary level - and I talk as an ex-teacher, a parent and a now-TA.

Primary children have NO influence over if they get sent to school or not.

The reward, if any, should surely be directed to the parent/responsible adult.

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