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Attendance Treat advice

(70 Posts)
ben1234 Wed 02-Apr-14 09:47:23

I've seen a few posts on attendance awards like a certificate. My son has just had 3 days off sick. The doctor had to get a second opinion and was thinking of sending him to hospital. He went back to school with antibiotics.
He has now missed out in the attendance treat for being off sick. If it was a piece of paper I wouldn't be so bothered. However in the past it's been bouncy castles or a pantomime. Which is a big thing to a child to miss out on especially when they have been genuinely ill. All because the schools need to worry about stats for Ofsted.
How is it fair on a child ? One day they are allowed off sick. What illness lasts a day ? If you sent them in ill surely that's neglect?
It needs to be changed to look at it on an individual basis ie the whole picture as in are they performing at school, homework being done, how often are they late or off school. Children can't help being genuinely poorly. Schools can not punish children in this way just because of the bad parents that don't care about a child's education and won't bother sending them in and instead take them to Chessington during a school day. They are the ones that need targeting. The type of parents that don't send them in are hardly bothered if their child gets to watch a pantomime anyhow.
What are your views as I am looking to get things changed in schools with regards to attendance. Some children are more susceptible to being ill. They or us as parents can't help it. Views please

NigellasDealer Wed 02-Apr-14 09:51:13

my view is that you sound very judgemental of 'other parents' tbh, you know the 'bad parents' that do not do their childrens homework for them?

ben1234 Wed 02-Apr-14 10:01:31

Judgemental ? What is wrong with saying there are bad parents out there who do take their children off school to take them to Adventure Parks and do not bother listening to them read at night and just sign their books as that's the truth of how some parents are

ben1234 Wed 02-Apr-14 10:07:27

Parents like that are the whole reason they have such schemes in place. Ofsted would not need to get schools to push for good attendance if every parent sent their child in on time each day, every day.
The fact is sometimes children are genuinely ill and can't help it and some parents don't take it lightly but have to keep them off as they are to sick to sit in class.
The problem is that parents take their children off at the slightest sniffle and as mentioned some parents who would buy cigarettes over cereal for a child. All children are being punished for parents like this. This is why it needs changing. Judgemental or not these are the facts.

NigellasDealer Wed 02-Apr-14 10:18:08

so letting your child have a day off is the equivalent of prioritising fags over cereal?
why do you not just read your posts back to yourself and get a cop on to yourself

insanityscatching Wed 02-Apr-14 10:20:16

It's the school using a big reward as an incentive that is at fault IMO. Your child was sick, some children through no fault of their own will never achieve full attendance because of illness, hospital appointments or even feckless parents. Why should any child be penalised for something they have no control over?
Dd's school hand out certificates every week and all children who have attended for a full week get to wear a badge above the school logo on Friday. That is it.
Each year, if on one week there is 95% attendance across the school the whole school is taken to the cinema at the end of the summer term no one left out and no individual responsibility.A far more fair way of encouraging attendance I think.

ben1234 Wed 02-Apr-14 10:26:12

Where did I say having a day off is equivalent to buying fags over cereal ?

TeenAndTween Wed 02-Apr-14 10:27:44

I think that the current situation isn't ideal, but I haven't really heard a better solution to improving attendance either.

You can't just exclude the times off sick, as some parents claim their child is off sick when in fact they are not (probably even more so now fines for holidays in term time are more prevalent).

Schools are being pressured to incentivise parents & children to attend school as much as possible, so how to do it without making the children who get sick feel left out?

Partly, by making sure the reward is proportional, and that it is seen as a bonus to be won, not something to be lost. At our primary school maybe only 10% have full attendance for a whole year, so most children would not get the certificate / reward or whatever. Rewards have normally been a certificate / book, but last year it was a water fight for an hour whilst others were doing other golden time stuff. Certainly never a trip to the pantomime, or a special disco.

At secondary they send home certificates of different colours depending on attendance, e.g. 100% >98% >95%, so you aren't penalised for the odd day. (Attendance and Lates are also used as a measure for becoming a prefect).

On the other hand, my DD2 is not one of the best at anything. She isn't great at academics, nor sport, nor music, nor art, nor drama. So she often gets overlooked for praise / certificates, and has no chance to shine.
But she often gets 100% attendance in a term and has at least twice had 100% for the year and so got rewarded. Is that really so bad? She gets up nicely for me, doesn't fuss about so isn't late. She will go in if feeling slightly off colour to see if she feels better later, rather than winging to stay at home.

Of course you could say that getting a good education is its own reward. But then you would have to do away with all those other certificates for good maths, winning a race etc. too.

I don't know what to do about children with clear medical issues. How to make it possible for them? Maybe they have their own lower target. (In the same way that children who have difficultly behaving get their own behaviour rewards system).

NigellasDealer Wed 02-Apr-14 10:28:14

here ben

"parents take their children off at the slightest sniffle and as mentioned some parents who would buy cigarettes over cereal for a child"

seems fairly clear cut to me

ben1234 Wed 02-Apr-14 10:29:24

Yes I'm saying that those types of parents are the problem that is correct

MotleyCroup Wed 02-Apr-14 10:36:56

Ds old school had an attendance lottery.

All the children who had 100% attendance in a whole school year were entered into the lottery and the child who was lucky enough to win could spend £100 on either a scooter, Kindle etc.

Ds won this when he was in Reception. I was slightly embarrassed if I'm honest at school pick up (I'd had a call at home to tell me he'd won) much so that I didn't mention he'd won the prize to other parents, it made me feel awkward for those parents whose children would never be able to win this prize and I didn't want to mention this at school pick up. I was over the moon for ds, he'd done so well and having 100% especially in Reception was brilliant.

It did become common knowledge after the Newsletter went out the following week, a couple of parents mentioned it and said well done, a few didn't acknowledge either way. I think that something was mentioned within the school about the unfairness of the system at the time.

If I'm honest as ds was (and still is) PFB I didn't really know that attendance was such a huge problem but his old school in particular had many problems in the past with regards to attendance (I found out later) and so the big incentives were put in place.

I'm still not sure how I feel about it tbh. It does seem unfair that those children who will never have 100% will always miss out.

ben1234 Wed 02-Apr-14 10:38:26

Teen, Long term illnesses should be excluded and I think children that go in with antibiotics should be too as it's evident they have seen a doctor and been judged to be sick as they don't give it out lightly now a days.
I'm sure if you looked at the stats of lateness and days off over a year it's pretty much the same culprits each time. The parents need harsher punishments as their children are missing out on a good education and a good percentage of them will go on to becoming the same as their parents and problem to society.
Keep the attendance treat. It wouldn't take much if they have all the stats on the system of days off and times of lateness in a term or year, to see that it is either a consistent issue or a once off.

BornToFolk Wed 02-Apr-14 10:45:37

If you've got a problem with the attendance policy at your DC's school, you should bring it up with the Head and board of governors, if appropriate.

I'd avoid talking about "types of parents" though...

insanityscatching Wed 02-Apr-14 10:47:24

You have such a simplistic view of attendance and lateness difficulties for some children that you really are not coming across well. It seems that now your dc won't be one of the chosen few you are spitting your dummy out of the pram. Either argue that the whole reward/incentive scheme at your school is wrong for all children regardless of whether or not you feel their reasons for non attendance /lateness are worthy or put up and shut up and come to terms with the fact that this year your dc won't be getting the treat.

Impatientismymiddlename Wed 02-Apr-14 10:51:37

Have you been concerned about the children who have missed out previously or did you not give a stuff until your little darling was due to miss out?

ben1234 Wed 02-Apr-14 11:09:14

why avoid talking about types of parents when the types of parents in my opinion is the problem

ben1234 Wed 02-Apr-14 11:15:14

and no I've felt the same about it all along. I can't see how it's fair on any child when they are sick. That is the point I'm making. I also can't see that it's that difficult to make a change where by sickness is looked at on an individual basis.

ben1234 Wed 02-Apr-14 11:22:35

I don't have a problem with schools looking at ways of getting attendances up. I don't agree with it being done by offering treats for attendance. By doing it as way of a treat when the child is not in anyway capable of being in control of whether they get to school on time and every day is where it's in correct.
In my opinion attendance issues need to be dealt with by the school by dealing with each family on an individual basis.

ben1234 Wed 02-Apr-14 11:26:19

insanity I think I can sum up generally the types of parents that have children who are late or miss school. Simplistic or not I could go further as there are other types of parents included but as a general rule I'm sure those type of parents have children with not just poor attendance but issues through out their schooling, bar one or two.

ben1234 Wed 02-Apr-14 11:32:08

and so far on all the threads to do with attendance awards / treats I have not read one fair / good reason given for how it is fair to have such a scheme that alienates a child who has been sick.
So the whole point of this thread was to see what people thought about it and to see who does think on that point that it is fair.
Not for people to suggest im throwing my dummy out of the pram cos my little darling won't get the treat.
Maybe I've hit a nerve with some people as their the types of people I have mentioned, just maybe.

NigellasDealer Wed 02-Apr-14 11:32:39

judgemental much?
i know your 'type of parent' ben, hanging around in the playground 20 minutes early filling the air with a foul miasma of judgementalness

Impatientismymiddlename Wed 02-Apr-14 11:33:47

So should children be blamed for the inadequacy of their parents? What you are suggesting is that the reason for the attendance should be looked at, but that would punish children for their parents failings (in cases where it is down to poor parenting as you insinuate).
It should be scrapped altogether. Treats should not be given for attendance full stop.
Whilst you might have considered the unfairness before it does come across that you are only wanting to take cation now that your child has been directly affected.

Impatientismymiddlename Wed 02-Apr-14 11:35:17

And you haven't hit a nerve with me as my children have excellent attendance and I have always read to them and supported their education. It just smacks that you are the person throwing your toys out of the pram, but you can't actually see it.

ben1234 Wed 02-Apr-14 11:35:41

Nigella just a good judge of character that's all

NigellasDealer Wed 02-Apr-14 11:37:31

grin you just keep telling yourself that.

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