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Rewards for attendance

(11 Posts)
Handay Sat 09-Mar-19 17:30:14

DD is in y10. She's a focused hard working pupil, been on the student council every year, gets asked to show visitors around school, has had maybe four negative comments in her planner throughout her time there, consistently gets the highest score available for approach to learning across all subjects and is in short completely committed to being a positive and active member of the school community.

She also has a chronic health condition which has affected her attendance throughout her time there. We have finally got this under control this year following a new approach by her consultant and as a result she has missed hardly any school, which is of course great for everyone.

She came home with a letter saying that due to her having good attendance and no negative comments she was invited to a reward event. I asked her about this and apparently they do it every term. She's never been invited before, due to her hitherto poor attendance. But nothing has changed in terms of her attitude! All that has happened is that her health has improved.

Not being selected before has clearly made not a jot of difference to her behaviour at school, but aibu to think that of all the things to reward her for, a fluke change of medication is an entirely arbitrary and meaningless one? She's been an asset to the school for years! There must be so many other pupils like her - keen, hard working etc - but who also have health issues, who will never get this recognition. It just seems back asswards thinking.

Hollowvictory Sat 09-Mar-19 17:33:50

Well 6es but there will be kids who will never win the art prize, or the maths award, or behave well enough to go to prom, or win the art exhibition or the dance competition or whatever. Not every child has equal access to every prize.

SauvignonBlanche Sat 09-Mar-19 17:34:01

I agree, I think they are discriminatory in nature and I really don’t believe that they will increase attendance.

grasspigeons Sat 09-Mar-19 17:38:44

The children who have full attendance have already had the reward of good health and an uninterrupted education.

Pieceofpurplesky Sat 09-Mar-19 17:55:33

There are arguments for both sides here. For some children the only award they ever get is attendance. For some it is sport. For some academic success etc. It gives them something to be praised for in a world where quite often there is nothing else that they can be rewarded for.

I disagree with chronic illness being a criteria for a reward trip. In my school your DD would have been invited because she had genuine reason to be off. It's that distinction between the child who has every other Friday off and the genuinely ill pupils.

At my son's school the kids have to hit 3/4 of the criteria - behaviour/attendance/homework/lates

YorkshirePuddingsGreatestFan Sat 09-Mar-19 18:00:44

I disagree as attendance isn't something a child can control, especially if they have health issues like your daughter.

My daughter missed out on a 100% attendance award in primary school because she had one day off for her Gran's funeral.

MitziK Sat 09-Mar-19 18:15:42

I think they're shit precisely because they automatically exclude kids for having a medical condition that would count as a Protected Characteristic in any other situation.

My absences due to hospital appointments actually stop me from being off for long periods, which is one of the reasons why they do not count them or absences due to the condition in my official absence records. It doesn't seem fair that I can have this adjustment made to take into account that I have otherwise perfect attendance, but a child cannot.

The trouble is that I already have all the skills needed to be able to work, as I've learned the subjects and passed the exams. A child hasn't - and it's hard to keep up - so being less accommodating for children makes it less appealing for parents to keep them at home when they're just not quite 100%, got up late or just don't fancy going out in the rain - all things I have debated about calling in sick and saying it's due to my condition (not done, but I still feel the temptation sometimes).

Mind you, I also think that ordinarily perfectly healthy children still get sickness, diarrhoea and chickenpox and I'd far rather they were kept at home than coming into school and spreading it around - these awards make it more likely I'm going to come into contact with infectious diseases.

You could contact the attendance officer/head and express your concerns, but I don't think they'll have much to say about it, other than 'regular attendance is important'. After all, staff don't get a snippy email/letter, they get dragged into disciplinaries/Occupational Health assessment with a view to dismissal on Capability Grounds if they're off frequently/for longer periods - and it often takes union involvement to get SLT off their case about it and make the reasonable adjustments.

SauvignonBlanche Sat 09-Mar-19 18:18:47

My daughter missed out on a 100% attendance award in primary school because she had one day off for her Gran's funeral.

How fucking mean spirited angry sad

Slowcookervegan Sat 09-Mar-19 18:18:51

I found my daughter was bullied by teachers and pupils for being ill. Our class will never win was the cry. She was often in hospital and had enough to deal with
Disgusting that this still happens

Strugglingtodomybest Sat 09-Mar-19 18:25:39

I think they're shit too, for the reasons given above.

TeenTimesTwo Sat 09-Mar-19 18:30:34

Our school looks at medical reasons for absence when considering rewards where one of the criteria is attendance. Which is as it should be.

Though at secondary there are loads of children quietly do as they should, who will never get public recognition for their efforts. They aren't confident leaders, or academic, or good at sport, or music, or art, or drama. But they turn up and try hard and don't cause trouble.

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