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

Normalisavariantofcrazy Sun 10-Nov-13 00:50:16

100% awards should be given out to any child that has also had authorised (ie sickness) absences too IMO

LadyMedea Sun 10-Nov-13 00:51:20

YANBU an award for something that is entirely out of the child's control is worse than pointless.

catloony Sun 10-Nov-13 00:55:43

Norma I agree, my child was in hospital, but apparently it couldn't be overuled, but children at school are constantly passing various illnesses, it seems like they reward the ones that avoided the bug, basically its a lottery now on who gets to go on the trip

AgentZigzag Sun 10-Nov-13 00:56:45

DD's school gives them a kindle fire if they get 100% shock

She's got asthma so she's out of the running angry

cleofatra Sun 10-Nov-13 01:01:50

At Ds's school, the attendance awards were basically to reward the kids who weren't doing that well at school. It was also to encourage attendance due to a high absentee rate . This was a secondary comprehensive where there were a lot of absent and troubled kids. They used to be rewarded with a school trip to Alton Towers at the end of the year.

catloony Sun 10-Nov-13 01:02:24

AgentZigzag hugs to your DD, probably like everyone on here, why do they do that! it really needs to be adressesed this reward system, very poorly children are made to feel very sad

whethergirl Sun 10-Nov-13 01:09:20

Argh I hate this!! Even when DS got one! I could not see the point in it at all. He had 100% attendance because he wasn't ill.

I understand that attendance is a problem at some schools, but I still don't think this is a good approach. If a child is in a situation where he is not attending school and it is not due to illness, then there are problems there that need addressing. At DS' school all you get is a certificate and a pencil anyway. I hardly think that is going to motivate anyone to go to school.

catloony Sun 10-Nov-13 01:12:34

Was tempted to fire off a response to the facebook status and all the comments but would of probably looked like a twat, thats how those sort of things end up, so just posted here, hope you all don't mind, grrrr, it's so sad when your child is at home when all there friends are at Alton Towers, she was supposed to go to school that day but was to upset to so we went to the cinema instead

whethergirl Sun 10-Nov-13 01:13:26

In our local paper, there was a story recently of one kid who was not allowed to go to the Halloween disco because he he was below the desired rate of attendance! The poor thing had an ongoing illness that required many hospital visits (as if that's not punishment enough!). Many of the other parents boycotted the disco and the school were forced to reschedule it.

whethergirl Sun 10-Nov-13 01:16:10

catloony am I getting this right, your ds was not allowed to go to Alton Towers? Because of her attendance record?

whethergirl Sun 10-Nov-13 01:18:39

the attendance awards were basically to reward the kids who weren't doing that well at school. I think that's a ridiculous reason. My ds is severley dyslexic so doesn't do well in any subject, however he has won awards at school for 'best effort', 'best behaved' and 'being kind to others'.

Ev1lEdna Sun 10-Nov-13 01:19:25

Schools give out prizes for attendance?? Seriously? I have never heard of this before. It's frankly bizarre.

catloony Sun 10-Nov-13 01:20:12

Whethergirl, good on all the parents that boycotted, its like the schools punish the children, where primary schools are concerned children should never be punished for attendance as its not in the childs control.

deepfriedsage Sun 10-Nov-13 01:23:20

I gather people who don't get ill have different genes with a high level of killer cells. I bet the mum of this child had loads of miscarriages as these high levels of killer cells are responsible. How would she feel if you made the same comments about mc?

deepfriedsage Sun 10-Nov-13 01:24:03

I gather people who don't get ill have different genes with a high level of killer cells. I bet the mum of this child had loads of miscarriages as these high levels of killer cells are responsible. How would she feel if you made the same comments she made about children getting ill about her having a mc?

catloony Sun 10-Nov-13 01:25:31

Yes whethergirl, my daughter was in hospital, had time off school, when the trip to Alton Towers was arranged, she was well enough to go, so no issues there, she was not allowed due to attendance, all her absenses were medical, the school would not let her go

Caitlin17 Sun 10-Nov-13 01:27:00

I've never heard of this. Are we talking state or private? It's a very stupid idea.

catloony Sun 10-Nov-13 01:28:52

I am assuming you have posted on the wrong thread deepfriedsage

Blu Sun 10-Nov-13 01:29:49

OP, if your child was excluded from a trip to Alton Towers because of a hospital stay as a result of an on going illness or condition I wouldn't waste time arguing with self absorbed smug idiots on FB, I would be writing to the school about how unfair, de-motivating and discriminatory their policy is.

Awful to attach a significant reward like that to the luck of not catching a bug, and implement a policy that makes it impossible for any child with a chronic medical condition or disability requiring regular medical or hospital appointments to ever achieve it. What a way to make an ill or disabled child feel even more excluded angry

Normalisavariantofcrazy Sun 10-Nov-13 01:36:05

Ive just thought.

In the world of work you're penalised for sickness (at my place you don't get an incremental pay rise if you have over a certain level of sickness regardless of the cause of the sickness) so I suppose it stands to reason they may implement a variation of this into schools

OttilieKnackered Sun 10-Nov-13 01:37:05

There are all sorts of awards and recognition some kids get that others don't. I don't have a problem with the idea in principle but trips to Alton towers are bound to cause division.

While some kids with frequent absences will have genuine reasons, a significant proportion of the time reasons for absence are exaggerated at best, downright lies at worst.

OttilieKnackered Sun 10-Nov-13 01:40:06

Indeed, Normal. I would absolutely never advocate sending a genuinely ill child to school, but at some point they will get a very nasty shock when they realise that 'being a bit under the weather' is not reason enough and that one or two days off a fortnight would see them let go before a probationary period.

catloony Sun 10-Nov-13 01:41:17

Blu there has been no facebook arguing, just seen posts about the same school, I chose to vent on here instead of replying

whethergirl Sun 10-Nov-13 01:49:43

Oh no catloony that is so mean. Your poor dd sad. That really is not on. I would definitely bring it up with the school. How on earth has that taught her anything??

Normalisa I don't think that's a good comparision, first of all, up to a certain age it is the parent's decision of whether the child should go to school or not, so why should the child be punished? I still think it's discriminatory in the workplace. If the doctor can issue you a note, then you are genuinely ill.

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.

giraffesCantGoGuising Sun 10-Nov-13 09:15:54

I was a very sickly child, was premature, underweight and was ill a lot - am very glad my school didn't do this as would have never got anything!

hollyisalovelyname Sun 10-Nov-13 09:21:29

I think they are stupid.
It's not a child's fault if they are unwell.
Children who don't get sick are lucky- reward enough that they are not ill.

howaboutacuppa Sun 10-Nov-13 09:23:17

YANBU. I am a teacher and we do this at our school. It is annoying when kids stay off for headaches and period pains etc., but when they come in genuinely ill and spread it around I think it's a shame for them, and everyone who then catches it. No one should be made to feel guilty for being genuinely ill.

OttilieKnackered Sun 10-Nov-13 09:24:15

Should we stop sports prizes because some kids are unco-ordinated/asthmatic/slow? Should we stop spelling tests in case pupils with dyslexia get upset? 100% attendance will surely be a minority. As I said, big, obvious day trip type prizes are a bad idea, but I find it hard to imagine a whole class having 100% attendance with one poor chronically ill child left alone.

It's a good point that primary school kids don't get much choice, but for secondary kids I don't see any problem with it. Some people DO need to toughen up and come in when they have a headache/period pain/didn't get 8 hours sleep. If we all took a day off work for every minor ailment we'd hardly ever be in.

mouldyironingboard Sun 10-Nov-13 09:33:26

I'm a teacher and my immune system is compromised because of a medical condition. I have had to give up my job because I caught so many serious infections in recent years, due to children coming into school when they should have been at home ill. I HATE these awards as they have cost me a career that I absolutely loved.

kateyjane Sun 10-Nov-13 09:34:02

I love what my children's school do. Each week every class earns money for their attendance (between £5 and £15 depending on class percentage) Then at the end of each term the class decide on a class treat depending on how much they've earnt. This is for everyone - in the past my children have been to the park and had an ice cream, been bowling, been to the cinema, shared fish and chips in the staffroom and bought new exciting craft stuff for wet play.

This school used to have really poor attendance - now it's 96% and everybody gets a reward. Much fairer in my opinion.

EthethethethChrisWaddle Sun 10-Nov-13 09:36:27

My DS got an award for 3 years of 100% attendance. Of course I was proud of him for getting an award but I do think it's ridiculous he was awarded for having the good luck not to be ill (and he hasn't been, even when we all got flu over Christmas he was fine!)

I also had to explain to my youngest why he couldn't go on the yearly cinema treat with his brothers as he got everything going in his Reception year and ended up with 93% attendance. The school had to send him home a few times so it's not like I was keeping him off unnecessarily.

I think their school has changed from monthly 100% attendance treats to a termly treat for over 97% attendance. Much better as it accepts that kids get ill or have appointments.

IMO it doesn't encourage the families it should be encouraging to come to school, because the lazy parents who cba to get out of bed still don't bother. So it does penalise those who are genuinely I'll.

Morgause Sun 10-Nov-13 09:40:03

I'd be inclined to take your DC out for the day somewhere really nice on the day the class go on the trip.

It would be an unauthorised absence but who cares? Children can't help getting ill and missing school and it's very wrong of the school to reward children who stagger in and spread their germs around.

Both my DCs had chronic asthma and never even had full attendance in a term.

whatever5 Sun 10-Nov-13 10:09:35

I've always thought that attendance awards were pretty unfair. They give them out at eldest dd's secondary school but then complain about children coming in when they are obviously unwell. It seems illogical to me.

My children are pretty healthy and rarely have a day off for sickness but they still don't usually get them because they have missed registration once during the year because of a dentist appointment or music exam. They realise that they're pointless certificates though (I have told them that, many times) so don't care.

whatever5 Sun 10-Nov-13 10:15:08

Interesting point regarding the Disability Discrimination Act. I suspect schools could be challenged under this act if they reward children for not being sick.

itsonlysubterfuge Sun 10-Nov-13 10:17:16

I don't really mind the award, if it's just like a piece of paper, to some people that is important. However I do think that the trip to Alton Towers is completely unfair.

When I was in Junior High School all of the kids with low grades who had improved or who were a minority got to go to the local theme park. As a white student with good grades I was not allowed to attend. I was not amused. There were only a handful of kids, around 200, left at the school.

Goatmint Sun 10-Nov-13 10:21:17

Good grief, some of these systems sound totally unfair and rewarding going to school when ill, spreading germs around 'willy nilly' if we are using that phrase!

DD is at primary. The class with highest attendance that week gets a certificate, and 3 certificates mean an extra play time. No one is left out and it's understood that 100% is pretty unrealistic.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 10-Nov-13 10:25:49

DD was sent home ill from school ( she was well in the morning) as she got send home before afternoon regerster she didn't get to have a treat from the treasure chest. She came out of school very upset. She didn't even want to do her home work.

I know it was an OTT reaction, but my daughter is very well behaved and likes to please her teachers and help other children in the school.

DS will never get this award as he has a lot of appointments with SALT, Peadatrician and a few others.

CitrusyOne Sun 10-Nov-13 10:30:49

I understand lots of the points you are raising- and I didn't before coming on mn. I work in a primary school and these arguments hadn't crossed my mind.

However, regarding attendance and holidays, the government and ofsted are putting schools under pressure to improve. Head teachers CAN'T ignore term time holidays, and if attendance is an issue they HAVE to show that they are putting something in place to try to improve this.

I ask this with no edge or anger, but what would parents suggest that schools do in this situation?

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 10-Nov-13 10:32:39

Yanbu. Dds asthma was really bad in reception sgevwill dvt have stood a chance. Recurring imperteigo took it away again in yr one.

If people could keep their sick children home then they wouldn't be in school spreading things around. Perhaps the other kids wouldn't get so ill then.

Why can't they do rewards for trying hard, being a good friend, being kind and helpful etc. That's something every child could have a shot at.

MoldieOldNaiceHam Sun 10-Nov-13 10:35:26

The work argument is ridiculous because you can not legally discriminate against someone for having a disability and there are other obligations regarding health and safety that the employer must adher to.

Some one recently applied for a job at my work and gave 100% school attendance as an example of outstanding achievement. We work with chronically ill people so as well as looking like a twat because it was years ago he looked like an ill educated twat to boot. He did not get an interview.

MoldieOldNaiceHam Sun 10-Nov-13 10:36:40

Asthma can be covered by disability legiation but it's not the DD Act now.
It's the Equality Act.

pouffepants Sun 10-Nov-13 10:37:05

I hate these with a passion. And I have a low achieving dd, who got 100% 5 years running (appeared to manage to get a bug virtually every half term though). Not once did I send her in unwell, just by pure fluke did she time her illnesses in the holidays.

She actually got bored and embarrassed of being pulled up in assembly, to be praised for something she didn't see as an achievement. But her class often won treats because of her high attendance (bringing the average up).

So apart from a week with a virus in reception, she got to year 6 without being off at all. They made a big fuss, and said if she completed that year she would have broken the school record. Got to spring half term, and she wasn't given her usual 100%. She was upset. I told her to forget about it, it wasn't important. Some kids in her class gave her some stick because they might not win the class treat. So she asked the teacher who found an afternoon where she was marked absent, which we all knew she wasn't.

She tried to get the teacher to change it, which she couldn't. She brought it up while i was there one day, and I said I wasn't bothered but I was concerned that she'd been marked absent. If there had been a fire they would not have known she was in the school.

In the end, although it wasn't changed, her class won the attendance treat of a swimming party. She missed it due to a vomiting bug!

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 10-Nov-13 10:38:42

I would say a way to show ofstead or eystyn that the school is tackling attendance is by calling the parents in for a meeting if there attendance falls or constant lateness.

Come up with a plan together to improve attendance and both school and parents sign.

Send in a photocopy of any medical appointments or conditions that can be shown to the inspectors.

Crowler Sun 10-Nov-13 10:42:38

I don't know how any child winds up with 100% attendance without going to school when they're not feeling well at some point.

I admittedly have a pretty low bar for keeping mine at home but they each have around 10-15 sick days a year and are not particularly sickly.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 10-Nov-13 10:50:14

I don't know either crowler

It's not just that one child they are dealing with. I mean surely there are occasions where mums to suck to do the school run or taking dc2/3/4 to drs is more important than morning registration.

Where are these perfect families where no one is ever sick or there's not a single incident that makes them late or requires attention rather than school for the morning.

I want to live there. Because there's obviously an amazing public transport service that is always on time. They have the safest drivers ever because there are obviously no accidents or road works that means your stuck in traffic fir 45 mins and miss the morning registration.

Where is this place?

pouffepants Sun 10-Nov-13 10:51:00

Ds and dd2 have had odd bits and pieces of sickness here and there, and have had to stay home.

Dd1 however seems to save all her sickness for the holidays. Oddly, she's the one with a medical condition (muscle related) and has such a determination to not ask for help, that i suspect that she may have concealed things from me. We have had occasions of her concealing sick in her bed and hiding rather than saying there's a problem, but to my knowledge I have never sent her to school ill. She also hides all evidence of school related problems.

SarahAndFuck Sun 10-Nov-13 10:54:01

They do attendance awards at DS's school.

It's getting quite complicated. They used to get a weekly certificate and if they had 100% attendance for each half term they got a different certificate and a prize.

Now they still get that, but they also get a weekly prize and an entry into a prize draw for some kind of Tablet. The more weeks they have full attendance, the more their name is entered into the draw, which I think is done at the end of the year.

DS is only in Foundation stage so I'm not sure if they have other rewards like trips or parties.

I'm sorry that your DD has been penalised for a hospital stay OP, I'm sure I'd be as furious as you if that were the case with DS.

But if you are going to complain to the school you might have damaged your argument by keeping her off on Alton Towers day to take her to the cinema.

You say she should have been in school that day but was too upset to go rather than actually ill, so you kept her off and took her out for the day yourself.

I can see why you would do that, I'd be tempted myself, but it's going to be a sticking point in your case when you say she's only ever had time off because she was hospitalised when that's not actually true now.

Badvoc Sun 10-Nov-13 10:57:12

She is probably the sort of parent who sends her child in come what may...there are plenty if them at my sons school
In my nephews class alone last week on one day the school had to phone 4 parents to come and fetch their ill kids.
It's irresponsible and cruel to the kids who aren't well.
But, hey, better than keeping them off and looking after them angry

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 10:58:32

certificates for 100% attendance are good - my DD got one last year, i doubt that the other kids gave a monkeys, but she was thrilled. Reward treats? thats wrong

Badvoc Sun 10-Nov-13 10:59:00

....and don't get me started on punishing a child for a hospital stay!
Have your written to the board of governors about this?

Crowler Sun 10-Nov-13 10:59:11

Giles, do you mean not only perfect attendance but no tardies? Jesus christ! how does that happen?

poufflepants - I'm sure that comes with its own worry but I'm impressed with your daughter! My eldest in particular is so over the top with his illnesses (real and imagined alike), it does my head in.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 11:00:18

BAdvoc - my DD had 100% attendance last year, I am the sort of parent that would keep my child home for a runny nose, she just didn't get sick last year is all. hmm

Badvoc Sun 10-Nov-13 11:02:13

That's fine Lemis.
Some kids don't.
But some, like my 2 dc who have asthma do get ill ESP in winter.
It's hardly their fault and they would much rather be at school than in a and e on a nebuliser!

OneUp Sun 10-Nov-13 11:08:55

I loathe one hundred percent attendance awards. I never got them in secondary because I had braces and all out of school appointments were given to those who could pay for their treatment but my parents couldn't afford to have them paid for so I had no chance.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 11:09:14

Of course, and it is wrong that is penalised, like you say, its not that fault. I agree with you.

OneUp Sun 10-Nov-13 11:10:30

OttilieKnackered there is a difference between athletic ability which you can do something about and attendance. What do you suggest people do who just get ill a lot? You can't exactly improve your immune system.

Crowler Sun 10-Nov-13 11:14:13

It's very true that for kids who have medical issues that require monitoring even when they're well - if you are going privately it's very easy to schedule them outside of school hours. Good luck with that on the NHS.

greenfolder Sun 10-Nov-13 11:18:40

i hate it!

just introduced it in dd3s school. she got a 100% certificate at half term. I threw it away. it is rewarding children of 5 for something they have no control over. some kids are lucky and not ill. some kids are ill and made to go to school by parents. some kids are a bit snotty and kept at home. its for me to judge whether my child is well or ill. the school has good attendance across the board. address those you have issues with. and stop making poorly children and their parents worse by doing a fecking weekly award for class with best attendance.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 10-Nov-13 11:21:23

When dd started school nursery there was a form saying "Does Elvis have a disability" which defined a disability. I think some illnesses were included. So I think a mum needs to complain stating the DDA that reasonable adjustments need to be made for their child.

I think something like this would be fine if 100% attendance for a week got your name put in a draw (as did being kind, star of the week etc etc) and then at the end of term there is a draw and one prize. But aims should be achievable.

damejudydench Sun 10-Nov-13 11:23:05

Yes, far better to send them into school coughing and spluttering... hmm

Eliza22 Sun 10-Nov-13 11:28:19

I hate this.

My son has been really ill requiring a lot of medical appointments, over the past 3 years. He STILL gets upset because he's letting himself down and won't get points for 100% attendance.


Raddy Sun 10-Nov-13 11:28:50

YANBU, I think these awards are not fair.

Btw - I have a son in y11 who has never had a day off. Just luck that he hasn't been unwell.

OwlinaTree Sun 10-Nov-13 11:30:49

At our school there are certificates at the end of the school year for the 20 or so that have managed 100% attendance. Every week the class with the highest attendance gets a certificate and an extra play. Childrenwith chronic conditions are left off the class listso it's judged on all the rest who can attend normally but they still get the play time if the class win.

It seems to work. All the children seem to recognise 100% over the year is remarkable, but more of a big deal is made of the weekly thing.

Schools are under pressure to show they are engaging children in improving attendance.

We have rewarded individuals for much improved attendance on occasion. That's had a good effect for those children long term.

I think this system is pretty fair.

frogspoon Sun 10-Nov-13 11:43:48

YANBU, if a child is ill, they are ill.

They may have a very serious medical disability, or they may just be genuinely ill. You can't send a child with a temperature/ D&V etc to school when they are poorly. Also, even if it is just a heavy cold, keeping the child at home will avoid exposing other pupils to their germs.

A child with a chronic condition will require frequent absences. These children should be praised for their efforts in working hard to keep up with the classwork despite their absence, not penalised for a medical condition that is not their fault.

Also one issue which I don't think anyone has mentioned so far on here is absence for religious reasons. An observant e.g. Jewish child will need to take several days off school per year in order to observe their religious festivals. The same thing applies for several other religions as well. To say a child who has been absent for this reason will not have 100% attendance award is religious discrimination.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 10-Nov-13 11:47:42

Schools are under pressure to show they are engaging children in improving attendance.

how is it possible for a 5 year old to get them self to school. They need an adult to get them to school.

whatever5 Sun 10-Nov-13 12:54:38

Schools are under pressure to show they are engaging children in improving attendance.

So the whole thing is just a "tick box" exercise. They are probably only getting away with it because the majority of children couldn't care less about a certificate of attendance anyway. If the reward was worth having they would be contravening the disability discrimination act.

Blu Sun 10-Nov-13 13:58:39

I know someone who during the epidemic sent her DD to school with symptoms swine flu on the last few days of summer term (you know, just as many other people were looking forward to getting on a plane for a much longed for holiday...) just to secure the 100% Attendance Gold Certificate for the year. I dread to think what she would do for a trip to Alton Towers.

OwlinaTree Sun 10-Nov-13 14:05:09

fortydoors whatever5 yes both your points are valid. However that's not the attitude Ofsted take.

BUT schools should be looking at individual cases within this, and making reasonable adjustments.

WooWooOwl Sun 10-Nov-13 14:06:15

I don't agree with 100% attendance awards either, but I don't blame schools for them.

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.

Raddy Sun 10-Nov-13 14:29:26

What about the kids (and my son knows a few) whose parents let them stay off school for a day when the latest version of CoD or FIFA is released.

Schools should be fining these fuckwit parents imo.

whatever5 Sun 10-Nov-13 14:34:33

OwlinaTree- do Ofsted actually tell schools to reward 100% attendance with certificates, trips etc though?

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.

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

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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 17:25:22'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!

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.

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

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

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.

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


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

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!

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.

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


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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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