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Attendance prize or punishment

(39 Posts)
GoadyTwoShoes Tue 14-Mar-17 10:25:29

My DC's primary school have recently announced that at the end of this school year all children who have achieved 97% attendance will be given a fun activity day as a prize.
The school already has excellent attendance so I'm not sure why this incentive is necessary. The majority of kids will get to enjoy the fun day but a small number of kids, who for whatever reason are below this level, will be left out.
Is it me or is this really mean, and probably counterproductive?
What do you think, are they being unreasonable?

VintagePerfumista Tue 14-Mar-17 10:26:48

Yes they are.

Apart from the fact that we'll be bloody paying kids to go to school next, what about children with chronic illnesses? Or shit parents?

Skatingonthinice16 Tue 14-Mar-17 10:31:15

It's mean.
I have a chronic condition. I would never have met that attendance just through hospital appointments alone. So in addition to having a life limiting condition forever id have been made to feel even more shit about it.

Ds has an eye condition which means he goes to the eye hospital every six weeks. We don't get much choice in appointments and can be there for hours. He has excellent attendance apart from this but half a day every six weeks may still count him out and I'd be very annoyed on his behalf.

I hate attendance awards, particularly at primary age where the dc are usually reliant on someone else taking them to school.

BeaderBird Tue 14-Mar-17 10:33:31

Ah I knew someone would presume staff ate incompetent. The majority of schools would not penalise those with genuine medical conditions.

BeaderBird Tue 14-Mar-17 10:35:03

So, how would you improve attendance? Bearing in mind jobs are at risk of it doesn't improve. Imagine that's your job - how would you improve attendance of 1500 students in a secondary school?

NerysHughes Tue 14-Mar-17 10:37:40

Beader

Primary school kids are rarely in control of their own attendance, ill or otherwise. They do not deserve to be penalised.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Tue 14-Mar-17 10:40:06

I hate anything like that. Its out and out discrimination against children who are ill/disabled.

Tirion1649 Tue 14-Mar-17 10:40:47

I think they are being unfair and unreasonable. Why don't you speak to the Head - put your arguemnents (and those here) forward, suggest other ways of encouraging attendance and supporting kids (and indeed their parents) who do miss school for, as you say, any number of reasons. Could you find other parents to go with you - is this something that the PTA might support?

You could also write a nice letter to the governors. Some might get it.

School and home - supposed to be a partnership, after all.

2014newme Tue 14-Mar-17 10:41:41

Our school gives no attendance awards beyond the class with the best attendance each month can have a little disco in the classroom.
It does seem discriminatory, will cause a load of bad feeling and will be more trouble than its worth.
What about those with under 97%, what will they do that day? Probably be kept off! Defeat ls purpose!

2014newme Tue 14-Mar-17 10:43:42

@beaderbird
The op is talking about primary not secondary school. in primary kids are generally depending on their parents to ensure their attendance.

theworriedone Tue 14-Mar-17 10:45:28

Hate it. My DS is on chemotherapy and misses a lot of school. He didn't ask to be this way and would far rather be at school sad

Porpoiselife Tue 14-Mar-17 10:49:51

Unfortunately it will penalise those with legitimate illness. I have 1 child with 98% attendance and one currently with only 91%. It's because the second has been in hospital due to asthma complications and then follow on medical appointments and also unfortunately had a vomiting bug which took her out for a further 3 days. It is in no way her fault nor am I a bad mother. I would feel sad for her to miss out because of this.

I really wish schools would stop this blanket approach and instead concentrate on the children who are regularly absent without medical problems by school meeting with the parents.

Make it compulsory for a meeting if attendance drops below 95% for example. I'd be happy to attend a meeting where it can all be documented and noted for the medical reasons. But it's wrong to penalise the child.

BeaderBird Tue 14-Mar-17 10:50:15

Changes nothing primary or secondary. Pupils are pupils, parents are parents and pressure to improve attendance is the same.

Of course those below 97% won't be kept off. They would be in normal lessons.

2014newme Tue 14-Mar-17 11:02:47

@beaderbird
My dd has 100% attendance. But if she didn't due to a medical reason and would therefore be doing normal lessons not the fun day, then yes I would keep her off and take her on a fun day myself. Sick kids miss out on so much already! therefore I would be making the school attendance worse. Fuck em.

IamFriedSpam Tue 14-Mar-17 11:08:23

WTF? That's completely unreasonable. They're basically going to have a school trip which excludes a minority of students through no fault of their own. It's also going to encourage everyone to bring in their children the second they stop throwing up.

IamFriedSpam Tue 14-Mar-17 11:12:31

Bearing in mind jobs are at risk of it doesn't improve.

Totally rubbish. OP already said attendance at the school is very good. How can the school distinguish proper medical reasons? Some kids just get sick a lot. My friend's son has had two vomitting bugs, tonsillitis and another bug with a very high fever, and two ear infections since the beginning of the school year. It's miserable for him why should he miss out on a school trip? If a child's parents can't be bothered to bring them into school on time why should that poor child miss out on a school trip?

If I could afford it I'd arrange an alternative day out for any kids barred from the school outing.

Gumbo Tue 14-Mar-17 11:14:32

The schools I went to as a kid had a ludicrous system where they gave a prize to anyone who'd not been absent for the duration of primary school, and the same for high school. We had one girl who bagged the prize for both ie. she turned up for school every day for 12 years. What the prize didn't show, however, was how many times she turned up ill and vomited in the classrooms (I recall at least 3 occasions) and infected other children, or turned up with a nasty UTI and wet herself despite being quite old... It's ridiculous, unkind on the child - and counter-productive!

5foot5 Tue 14-Mar-17 13:21:52

YANBU. I think that is unfair because it presupposes that children are absence through choice. While there may be a few for which this is true I assume the majority are absent because of illness they just can't help.

I think a fairer reward was one they had at DDs secondary school. At the end of the year there would be a "fun" activity, e.g. one year they had ice skating, but attendance at this was based on behaviour record. Anyone who had too many reports of bad behaviour was excluded from the fun activity.

Lakegeneva40 Tue 14-Mar-17 14:25:11

Stupid idea. Dd2 needs occasional medical appointments and had a couple of tummy bugs.
We received a letter from the school attendance officer asking what he could do to help us improve her attendance.
Err. Make her not get sick!

Lakegeneva40 Tue 14-Mar-17 14:26:03

And yes op it's a punishment.

Sirzy Tue 14-Mar-17 14:28:06

It's also illegal, the DDA doesn't allow for people to be penalised because of a disability.

Oldraver Tue 14-Mar-17 15:12:50

My son has had 100% attendence for the last 5 years and I still dont like these rewards.

Trifleorbust Tue 14-Mar-17 15:17:58

Absence of reward isn't punishment. I get that people don't like it when their children aren't rewarded, but they are not being punished.

GeekGoddess Tue 14-Mar-17 15:18:08

I hate stuff like this, it's so unfair.

My DC has never missed a day for anything 'minor', and most years has 100% or near 100% attendance. One year they had two while weeks of with a v bad case of chickenpox and then three days off the following term with a sickness bug. They would have missed out but how could anyone have avoided that and why should she be further punished?

And that's before you touch on chronic conditions.

Have a word, see if you can gentle change their mind op.

Willyoujustbequiet Tue 14-Mar-17 15:22:27

I agree its probably illegal under Equalities legislation.

Aside from the why the hell should children be penalised through no fault of their own.

I think it merely reflects short sightedness of the school management.

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