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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.

MrsMiniversCharlady Tue 11-Dec-12 08:58:31

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!!


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.


chrismissymoomoomee Tue 11-Dec-12 09:13:30

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.


ArbitraryUsername Tue 11-Dec-12 09:18:50

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.

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