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To think awarding medals/prizes for 100% attendance is really rewarding good antibodies, strong constitutions and a bit of luck.

(85 Posts)
Sleep404 Fri 19-Jul-13 22:09:23

I just don't get this policy. It doesn't encourage or insentivise kids and likely makes them either have a dont care attitude or upsets them as they lose out through no fault of their own.

Who's the target?
Kids who play truant arent going to suddenly show up because of an award/prize on the last day of term, so it can't be them.
Mums and Dads who take their kids out of school for special trips or holidays will likely see the benefits of the holiday, be it financial or educational, as more important than the reward.
So that leaves the kids who make every effort to attend every day, but through no fault of their own, they get sick and miss a few days. Why punish them further by implying they have done something wrong.

I find this utterly baffling.

jamdonut Sat 20-Jul-13 20:43:06

It seems (in our school at least) the children are fairly accepting of the fact that they won't get a certificate if they are off ill.They don't seem bothered by it,in the same way that they accept they won't get a certificate for good behaviour if they have had a yellow or red card.

There are plenty of other awards that children can receive ,one way or another.

If it was the ONLY way to receive an award I could understand people getting upset about it.

CokeFan Sat 20-Jul-13 17:20:33

If you can't get to school on time on a regular basis because of traffic/buses/whatever then it's a problem that needs sorting - for the DC, who miss out on whatever happens first in the day and for everyone else in the class who get interrupted when the latecomers arrive.

Presumably the solution to the problem will depend on the cause - move school, find alternative transport or make an arrangement with the school that you arrive later - find a workaround.

100% attendance awards can only be motivators up until the first day you miss (for whatever reason). Once you've missed out on the prize for the term or the year you might as well have more time off.

JazzDalek Sat 20-Jul-13 16:17:29

YANBU, it is utterly nonsensical.

They don't have this at my DCs' school, thank God. Neither of mine would get it because I keep them home if they are ill - I feel strongly about it, actually. I'll send them in with a cold, but anything more - high temp, lethargy, pain, especially sickness - I keep them home, for their own good and that of their peers. They are only little and when fighting off a virus they need to be home, snuggled on the sofa with DVDs, books, drinks and good food, not schlepping off to school to infect everyone else whilst putting their own systems under more stress.

Icantstopeatinglol Sat 20-Jul-13 16:03:39

Owlina, how is it an achievement to not get poorly? Surely it's just pure luck?
My ds has been off school with chicken pox and a vomiting bug this year and the 48hr rule meant he was off 3 days not just 1 when he was only poorly on the first day. This just makes me tempted to lie and send him in on the 2nd day! Although I would only do that if he was physically ok.
It just makes no sense to me the attendance awards. It's a total pain in the arse for me if one of my dc is poorly as it means I have to take time off work which isn't great.
Out of 50 kids in my ds reception year only 2 got 100% and they made such a song and dance about it.
I would love him to make it into school as much as possible but if he's poorly then he can't simple as that!

Heartbrokenmum73 Sat 20-Jul-13 15:48:46

Yeah, punctuality awards. Fantastic for those who live five mins walk away or have a decent car. Those of us who have to rely on a crappy bus service stand no chance though, so thanks for that.

Attendance and punctuality awards are a crock of shit. As stated time and again, throughout this thread, they penalise those with health issues or unavoidable appointments (two of my DC have had speech therapy in the past - only available during school hours - at the insistence of the school!). Generally, my DC are healthy, but before Christmas a horrendous bug swept the school and pretty much everyone ended up with at least 48 hours off at some point, including my 3. Not their fault but they would have lost out on 100% attendance, if their school didn't already see what a stupid idea those kinds of awards are.

Attendance is NOT an achievement - please stop deluding yourselves grin

OwlinaTree Sat 20-Jul-13 15:47:24

Well I found what you said a bit pointless to be honest. Think I'll leave this thread now, seems it's just another school bashing attempt.

thecatfromjapan Sat 20-Jul-13 15:45:22

Owlinatree: "Is it beyond the possibility of your brain that they might not have been ill?"

Bit of a harsh response for what was a slightly (I don't consider myself to be Oscar Wilde of Jonathon Swift) funny response to a not-terribly-pressing modern issue.

You want to pace yourself there. What insults are you going to have left up your sleeve when you find your husband shagging your pet dog?

thecatfromjapan Sat 20-Jul-13 15:42:05

Ah. I see Mumoftwoyoungkids has already posted something v. similar.

OwlinaTree Sat 20-Jul-13 15:41:56

I think that's a bit sad thecatfromjapan. That's not what they are saying at all. Is it beyond the possibility of your brain that they might not have been ill? I had 2 winners this year in class. They were quite genuine, not sent in ill etc. Yes, it's luck, but it is nice to recognise this, it is an achievement.

thecatfromjapan Sat 20-Jul-13 15:34:41

I think the point is this: You know how some schools have a "No children in school 24 hours after vomiting" policy, and some have a "No child in school 48 hours after vomiting" thing? Well, the point about all these prizes, medals, certificates, etc. is to tell parents - in secret language - to ignore the official policy. That, in fact, is for losers.

In fact, schools with certificates for 100% attendance are saying: "Dose your children up with calpol if they are feeling off; put calpol in their water bottles if necessary; keep quiet about the vomiting: drop 'em here and run, run, run."

So. Just so long as we all have that straight, everything is fine.

Meglet Sat 20-Jul-13 15:29:33

I like that idea owlinatree . We'd be guaranteed to win 100% punctuality.

<<drafts e-mail to head suggesting it>>

jamdonut Sat 20-Jul-13 15:28:24

Actually, CokeFan,that is a good idea!! But some people will then say it's not their fault they can't get to school on time. Where do you draw the line?

I want to know if people think that it is best we should stop rewards altogether.

Do you think children should be rewarded for good behaviour? What about children who have conditions that make them misbehave? Should we reward for not misbehaving as much as they did the previous year?

As I said in an earlier post,what about Sports,Music,Swimming ,taking part in events? Should these not be rewarded because not all children managed to achieve in these areas for a variety of reasons? Maybe they can't do after-school clubs,or afford school music lessons etc? Maybe they can't run,jump,throw as well as someone else.

Does that mean the children that can should miss out?

I know of a child whose behaviour is abysmal in the classroom,and their attendance not brilliant, but who is brilliant at sports,absolutely excels. He may not get the other awards, but he is rewarded for his sports prowess,and he is very proud of this,as are staff.

OwlinaTree Sat 20-Jul-13 15:22:54

I like the idea of 100% punctuality.

As regards class achievement, the school should be adjusting for that, we have a similar award but if there is a persistent malingerer or child with a medical condition, allowances are made and it's judged on the rest of the class.

Children should be off school if they are ill, especially sickness. They stay off for 48 hours. If they come in they get sent home again (parents are called etc). That in itself stops parents calling in sick for a day off.

What can you do? If the child attends well and it's not recognised, then that seems mean too, especially if they are unlikely to win other prizes.

CokeFan Sat 20-Jul-13 14:32:15

I think rewarding 100% punctuality would actually be better - those who need encouraging to get ready in a morning (possibly the only part of getting to school that the child has some control over) will be motivated and those who are off because they are ill or at hospital/dental appointments don't get penalised.

madhairday Sat 20-Jul-13 14:12:18

"We also celebrate attendance each week,(with a cup for the class to display for the week),with the children very eager to know who has won."

And you say this like it's a good thing? Schemes like this cause untold misery for those dc who have a chronic condition and continually 'let their class down.' My dd is one of these, and when her last school also did this, was bullied and pushed around for 'losing them the prize' yet again hmm

Yanbu op. I've posted on these threads before but feel very strongly that these award contravene the Disability Discrimination Act because they exclude these children from the start.

What is more, they also reinforce the script those children are picking up through the years - that their disability makes them fail, that only the healthy can be the best and that they will never be able to compete. Imagine how these dc feel sitting through yet another attendance assembly with children lucky enough to be well being yet again rewarded and clapped for something THEY HAVE NOT DONE.

And those saying well it's the only award some get - if that's the case I'd be having strong words witrh the school because if they can only award some children with attendance awards then they are showing very little imagination. Attendance awards reward nothing but luck and health. If a school cannot find awards which reward something positive the actual child has done then something is wrong.

tethersend Sat 20-Jul-13 13:45:52

"Yes, but when do you start encouraging attendance?"

Attendance awards are not compulsory.

Personally, I'd like to see schools which offer such a rich experience that children of any age want to come to school. Many, many schools are already achieving this.

curlew Sat 20-Jul-13 13:32:22

You can say the same about any prize. My ds got the sporting achievement cup at the end of year 6- he was lucky to have good physical health, good hand/eye coordination and a lot of determination. All things outside his control. And a mother prepared to take him to training and to fixtures. Not fair either. Almost as not fair as not giving it to him!

Sparklysilversequins Sat 20-Jul-13 13:26:06

Doesn't bother me to be honest.

At our school they do 100% punctuality certificates as well and dd has had one every term she's been there. So that makes her happy and she doesn't notice the attendance one which is good as she's most unlikely to ever get one of those.

BornToFolk Sat 20-Jul-13 13:14:03

I'm kind of on the fence with this one.

On the one hand, DS has had 100% attendance this year. I don't see that as any achievement on his part. He's 5. He goes to school because I get up early enough to get him ready and take him there. He's been lucky not to have been ill all year - so 100%. It feels a bit weird that he gets rewarded for this. hmm

However, my sister is a primary school teacher and she says that some of her kids will tell their parents they have a headache etc and the parents will let them stay off school. If you can incentivise those children to WANT to come to school, they are not going to try it on with their parents.

Also, DS's school has a big problem with attendance. I know as I'm a governor. There are sanctions for persistent non-attenders but the attendance awards are really aimed at the kids that have 70-90% attendance. The ones that can't be bothered turning up and who's parents can't be bothered to make sure they get there every single day.

So, meh, I don't know! It does seem unfair to reward children for good health (and so also exclude children who have been unwell) but then, for some schools attendance is a big issue and you've got to try everything to get kids into school so they can learn!

Samu2 Sat 20-Jul-13 13:06:32

jamdonut, how is having 100% attendance since starting in year 7 a real achievement? It is not an achievement to be lucky enough to not get sick. It's just luck.

Or the child is sent to school when they are sick regardless of if they are contagious or not.

Samu2 Sat 20-Jul-13 13:03:41


My kids only ever miss school when they really are too ill to go. My dd loves standing up for her reward. She couldn't understand why she was left out two terms ago because she was sick. She is only 5 and she thought it was unfair that she had to miss out her reward just because she was off school for one day due to vomiting.

I agreed with her.

The health of our children is not in their control, so why reward someone who has had the fortune not to get ill?

jamdonut Sat 20-Jul-13 13:00:45

To be fair, they award for effort and for achievement in my kid's secondary school. I think it is easier to judge at that level.

They also award for 100% attendance. I think there was roughly 10 children in each year group. My two (Year 8 and 11) just missed out this year because of really bad colds. They know that it's just pot luck. It is no biggie. One of the girls in year 10 had 100% since she started in year 7. That is a real achievement.

burberryqueen Sat 20-Jul-13 12:51:44

grin mumoftwoyoungkids
one of my daughter's friends invariably has 100% attendance the poor guy is sent it with any illness he has, cos his mother got into such terrible trouble with school and SS over her elder child having too much time off.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sat 20-Jul-13 12:47:55

I think attendance certificates are marvellous. Especially if it is for 100% attendance - not the much easier 95%!

Personally I hate cleaning up sick so if the school wants 100% attendance I'm happy to drop dd off with her plastic bucket. I'm also not a big fan off calamine on chicken pox so if ds comes down with it while at school (unfortunately dd has already had it) then who am I to keep him off and mess up the Ofsted.

Conveniently it also means no more midnight conversations with dh over who stays home from work with poorly children. (Our nursery is very inconsiderate about 48 hour rules!)

Superb! Just 14 months until dd starts school!

Am I missing something here???

SirChenjin Sat 20-Jul-13 12:44:33

They reward attitude to school already in many schools - there are criteria which are preset and teachers reward accordingly. Happens in my DCs high school and so far there hasn't been a backlash!

A full attendance isn't an 'achievement'. DC3 has full attendance this year, and that is down to pure luck. If the school chose to reward that (they don't, thank goodness) then I would be very hmm about it.

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