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Contratulations! You and your child have acheived 99-100% attendance

(28 Posts)
joelalie Mon 15-May-06 13:07:23

Does anyone else think this is a little odd? My DS#1 got a letter on Friday saying this and telling him that he would be taken to the local cinema as a reward, as well as receiving a gold certificate. Now clearly he is chuffed to bits about going to the cinema and I'm enjoying him getting congratulations about anything (he's not really a star perfomer at school) but I'm not sure about the scheme as a whole. I'm lucky in that my kids don't really get sick - maybe a slight cold once or twice a year, but nothing serious. My DD has a tummy bug and had 2 days off which is presumably why she didn't get the letter but that is unusual. But doesn't it penalise those children who happen to be unfortunate enough to get ill more often - kids with allergies for example, or like DS's best mate who had epilepsy and had to go for endless tests? I can't help thinking it's a bit divisive.

Is this really a good idea?

Blu Mon 15-May-06 13:13:26

DS is in reception, and I'm already anxious because his numerous absences for hospital appointments undermine the chances of his class winning the attendance cup.

And we had an induction letter emphasising that home was the place for a sick child, don't bring them if they are ill etc etc...so why competitiveness over authorised absence for real illness or appointments?

foxinsocks Mon 15-May-06 13:14:47

are you sure they take sickness into account?

Blu Mon 15-May-06 13:17:39

fox - I think I will check - it's bothering me and upsetting my aim to be a model parent of a school-age child!

joelalie Mon 15-May-06 13:21:35

Well no I'm not 100% sure but as my DD hasn't had any other absences at all I can't think why she wouldn't get the letter as well. And even in children do take days off surely their parents would say they were sick even if they weren't? There can't be many parents who just take their kids out of school with no excuse - genuine or not?

hulababy Mon 15-May-06 13:23:28

IME schools don't take sickness into account. It is only actual attendance that counts towards the %.

gladbag Mon 15-May-06 13:25:10

It may be a reward for having no 'unauthorised' absenses - in which case days off for illness that the school is informed about shouldn't matter (although if your dd didn;t get the letter then probably not...). I do agree that otherwise it seems unfair on children who have on-going medical problems and can't help being away sometimes. Is it primary or secondary?

Tommy Mon 15-May-06 13:25:13

they don't take sickness into account - 100% is just what it says and it's bad luck if you are genuinely ill and can't come to school. I guess they are just trying to encourage full attendance and discourage taking odd days off here and there.

Helen38 Mon 15-May-06 13:40:24

I had a letter telling me off for my sons poor attendance so far this year with a print out of their records. He had 4 days off with ear infections, then 2wks off after he had his adenoids out and grommets put in, as we were told not to send him to school for 2wks to avoid infection, also 1 day off because he had been sick and they can't go in for 24hrs after.
It was quite a snotty letter which told me how important my child education is and missing school is bad for him (as obviously I am too stupid to know this The head got a rather snotty letter back. So if our school did rewards, ds would be basicly punished for needing an operation, hmmmmmmmm I'm not sure it's a good idea.

EmmaKB Mon 15-May-06 14:19:22

If you child is ill then they are ill. Primary school children are not into bunking off school to hand around the on street corners. This kind of initiative is probably more suited to Comprehensive school than primary school.

Eowyn Mon 15-May-06 14:23:55

at the end of reception year a few children in dd's class got a pen or somesuch for 100% attendance, dd didn't as she had had one day off sick. the school had sent her home, she had been most indignant (seemed to be slapped cheek). Mad.

saltire Mon 15-May-06 16:23:51

My DH is away for 4 months, and i took the kids out of school for 3 days to go to a family wedding, and was told it was unauthorised absence and they were going to report it to the Scottish Executive. Neighbour is in same boat re her DH and she took the kids out for 3 weeks and nothing was said!

However, i don't think it's a good idea to reward kids for good attendance, as, some people on here said, if a child is ill, especially one with a serious illness/hospital treatment, then they will be punished by not getting a perfect attendance prize

Wordsmith Mon 15-May-06 16:25:46

Rewarding children for what should be normal behaviour is weird, in my opinion.

robinpud Mon 15-May-06 16:28:14

Talk to your Mps and get the system changed. The government judge school on their attendance so they are just trying to play the game. They know it is ludicrous, but it is a measurable statistic and this government love anything in education which can be measured.

Of course we all know that most of the really important benefits in education can't be measured with statistics.. but the mostly male civil servants get all excited about being able to compare schools on their attendance.

hunkermunker Mon 15-May-06 16:28:26

Bizarre.

Congratulations for breathing for the WHOLE time you were at school today! Yay for making your eyes blink lots! Woohoo, your bladder's lovely! And you have toenails!

coppertop Mon 15-May-06 16:35:53

I think this kind of scheme is unsuitable for a primary school, especially the younger children who are more susceptible to illness. IMHO it also discriminates against children with SN who need time off for appointments (as Blu has already mentioned). Ds1's SALT and OT only work during term-time so visiting their clinic means taking a morning or an afternoon at school.

joelalie Mon 15-May-06 16:46:30

Hmmmm. That's what I thought more or less.

However I'm not going to say so to DS#1 just for the sake of principle. I shall let him be happy in his acheivement even if most people don't think it's one

I must just say that I think there are some parents in our school who tend to let their children stay off for fairly trivial reasons and maybe this will help in those cases. It's not altogether a wasted lesson that you have to persist with things even if you don't really feel like it. It's only the unfairness that I object to.

Blu Mon 15-May-06 16:51:04

DS has to have a daytime hospital appt just to get his shoes! And it always takes an entire morning or afternoon.

Hallgerda Tue 16-May-06 10:23:03

My children are generally healthy, but I don't really see why they should be rewarded for that. One year DS1 missed out on his usual 100% attendance certificate because the school boiler broke down and anyone able to take their children home was asked to to so, and I dutifully did. I was a little cheesed about that!

Blu, one of the schools near us (it might even be your son's) sent out a wonderful note once telling parents not to send their child to school if their nasal mucus was green or straw-coloured! I'm sure it encouraged parents to improve their child's hanky skills .

I don't think it's right to give class rewards except for a genuine collaborative effort - it only encourages the rest of the class to be unpleasant to "underperformers". (Someone on our PTA once suggested rewarding the class that raised most on a sponsored event .)

LadyTophamHatt Tue 16-May-06 10:31:55

At ds1's old school they were given cerificate for 100% attandance at the end of each term.


sickness was taken in to account and if they were ill they didn't get a certificate.

grumpyfrumpy Sun 21-May-06 07:36:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cheltenhamgal Sun 21-May-06 08:19:30

my dd's school do the same thing altho I think it's mainly aimed at the children who are late each morning and also the ones who are off for no apparant reason(ie not ill). I asked one mum whose son was off the previous week how he was and she said oh no he hasn't been ill, he had been playing me up so why should I put myself out by taking him to school

joelalie Mon 22-May-06 14:03:26

Hmmmm.... I have to admit that I do know parents who keep kid off for no reason. Just didn't like to say so.

Lad in DD's class is always having days off 'sick'. His mum walks him to school even though he says he's feeling ill and then because he says he's still feeling ill, takes him off home again!! If he can walk to school then he must be OK surely? And there's another who asks her son if he feels like going to school if it's raining...when he, not surprisingly doesn't, she stays in bed. One little girl was always really late - EVERY MORNING without fail she;d miss the register...one morning I heard the lady in reception ask the mother why she was late and the answer was..'Oh well, we just got a bit behind....' I know the first and second mother quite well and they aren't in the least embarrassed about doing these things. So how will the children learn otherwise?

But I still think it's unfair if children are genuinely ill. However I was talking to DH about this and he reckons that it's no worse rewarding kids for good attendance, even if it is partly due to good health, than it is for being good at football or drawing. All of them are innate 'gifts'. Don't know about that though.

cazzybabs Mon 22-May-06 21:27:15

My mums school does this - she has several parent's who don;t bring their kids to school when they should, but write letters authorising non-attendence (ie they say they are ill but a teacher out at lunchtime saw them playing in the front garden). What can the school do? Nothing? They are under pressure to improve attendence and attainment - which they cannot do if the child is not there!!! No system is fair ... and the only way to chage behaviour is by positive means ie praise those who go regulay and hope the kids that don't tell their mums they do not want to go! Ultaiently the parenets are messing up that kids future. They get a certificate and a sticker mind you!

At my school we have nothing as most of our children have very good attendence so we don't need to encourage it.

kid Mon 22-May-06 21:30:51

DD got a 100% attendance, I always send her to school. It helps that I work there and have to go to work anyway!

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