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Attendance awards

(37 Posts)
HelpMeLogIn Sat 06-Feb-16 20:49:52

At sharing assembly with all the parents in attendance, those children who had achieved 100% attendance were invited to the front of the hall and all given a gold certificate for their attendance.

Some children, who for some reason or another had had time off for illness, sat there looking glum because they wouldn't get a shiny certificate.

Cue lots of complaining on Facebook later about upset children and discrimination against children that had been ill.

I marine that the school had to do it as part of some box ticking exercise but it does mean that children that get ill are excluded from this rather public reward system.

Yes I get that some will be upset by this. One of my kids got 100% attendance but the other one didn't. Luckily they're not bothered, or it could have caused a row. There has been an awful lot of Facebook complaining though by offended parents. I'm really not that bothered about it and I don't get why they're so upset. It seems daft to me to let them take it so seriously. Of course it discriminates and therefore should be ignored for being ridiculous, not pandered to and turned into a big deal.

Am I wrong? I just can't see the big deal.

superzero Sat 06-Feb-16 20:59:20

I agree with you,not a big deal.
Same system at our school.
They are very hot on attendance as they generally struggle with it so I suppose they do all that they can to reward it.
If it means my child doesn't get a certificate in assembly because he had a day off with an ear infection it doesn't bother me,they praise plenty of other things like good behaviour which doesn't exclude anyone who missed school through illness.

HelpMeLogIn Sat 06-Feb-16 21:05:02

That's exactly what I thought. I daren't say as much, I'll get the cold shoulder at school! I work there sometimes so I can't really say too much on social media.

BuzzardBird Sat 06-Feb-16 21:06:15

I think they would do better to award children who when they felt well bothered to arrive at school on time and not disrupt class.

HelpMeLogIn Sat 06-Feb-16 21:10:32

They could have different grades couldn't they? Tidyness, punctuality, putting their stuff away on time, all sorts of things! What is this obsession with non-attendance! It's not a one-rule-fits-all thing! Some kids with good attendance might be rubbish at school and some kids with days off for illness are smart and quick and catch up. Doing well at school isn't just down to attendance, although I appreciate that some schools suffer from massive non-attendance.

Gobbolino6 Sat 06-Feb-16 21:11:37

I think it's a sad system, really. It's unfair. That said, it doesn't bother me on any meaningful level. Just one of those things.

Sirzy Sat 06-Feb-16 21:12:41

At primary level it is rewarding children for something out of their control. Would you reward a 4 year old because their parents had fed them breakfast before school?

Most children who are off are off for very good reason, those who aren't a certificate isn't going to do much to change the behaviour of the parents is it?

Parents sending in children when ill so they keep their 100% attendance often makes things much harder for children who have chronic health problems meaning their attendance is made worse.

HelpMeLogIn Sat 06-Feb-16 21:14:30

Absolutely. It is very unfair.

Some of the posts on Facebook are very insulting to the school. If I was one of the lovely teachers I'd be a bit upset.

chillycurtains Sat 06-Feb-16 21:15:25

The big problem I see with it is for children who have a disability or medical condition that requires doctor or hospital appointments or causes more frequent illness. It is tremendously unfair on those children. My DD currently has a condition that requires appointments at the hospital every 8 weeks. She is really sad that she won't get to join a school trip that the 'award winners' have got each term. It's just isn't really something that the children have really achieved though when we are being honest is it? If you are ill, you need a day off. You haven't achieved anything being well.

hels71 Sat 06-Feb-16 21:16:22

DD's school give out 100% attendance awards at the end of the summer term. Last year 7 children got one....

madamginger Sat 06-Feb-16 21:18:21

I hate this obsession with attendance, last year my children's school took the kids with 100% attendance here
There was uproar from the parents of those excluded.
I had one child go and one not, it was awful trying to explain that to DD because she'd had chicken pox she couldn't go.

VashtaNerada Sat 06-Feb-16 21:18:55

I hate it and my DC are always on time and very rarely ill. It just seems really unfair to children with SN or medical issues. Like they're not already feeling miserable enough for having to miss school!

starry0ne Sat 06-Feb-16 21:21:34

I hate them... If my DS gets one I tell him I am chucking it in the bin but keep his homework certificates...

I also hate parents who send sick children to school for teachers to decide if they are well enough or ignore the 48 hour D & V rule...

My DS's attendence is always in the high 90's so it isn't about my DS .. like others said it is about something out of control of a school child...

superzero Sat 06-Feb-16 21:23:36

That's really unfair chillycurtains!A certificate in assembly is one thing,a special school trip is a different matter.Excluding someone from that due to illness beyond their control is mean.Even if they weren't absent due to illness attendance was probably the parents'/carers responsibility so don't exclude the child.

BlueBlueBelles Sat 06-Feb-16 21:25:50

My DC school do a termly one. So if you're off in September for instance you could still get a 100% award in the December term as it "resets" at each half term.

However in July they do award those with a whole year 100% with a book or similar. DS2 has 2 years straight. DS1 did one year, but 14-15 had SN exclusions (ASD) and same 15-16 (and a sick bug his brother avoided) DS2 is determined to make it three years 100% though. I did the same at primary/first couple of years of secondary.

I admit it's not great for long term illnesses etc. But it does help with some of those who would stay off for a sniffle.

Don't get me started on the crappy letters for when attendance falls under 95% though. I went mad when we got one for DS1, as it patronisingly told me I shouldn't keep him off for minor ailments. I told them next time they exclude him or he's puking in a bucket I shall deliver him to school regardless

HelpMeLogIn Sat 06-Feb-16 21:29:42

God, a school trip or party is seriously pushing it too far.

I think ours is term by term too.

I might point that out on Facebook. grin

hazeyjane Sat 06-Feb-16 21:34:18

They are utterly shit, fortunately they don't have them in ds's school. In the dds school there is a certificate, but it is one of many certificates given out.

shazzarooney99 Sat 06-Feb-16 21:40:57

Having a son with suspected asd, and when he has a meltdown he does not get into school on time, i found out recenently that when he is not in on time he gets marked an unauthorised abscence! even though ive had him having a meltdown for hours, yeh i do feel he misses out, and yes its his condition as he gets anxious about school.

saltlakecity Sun 07-Feb-16 13:11:06

As a primary teacher you'd be surprised how often it is in the child's control or the parents. I've seen many instances of a child faking illness and parents finding out later it wasn't a true illness. On the flips ide I've known dozens of parents who keep their child off for the smallest of things. The most recent example was a graze on a child's arm. I assumed it was bad because the next day it was dressed. When the dressing fell off during the morning when he was back it was the most tiny graze where most kids and adults would just do a half hearted 'there, there' and they'd be fine. I couldnt believe he'd been kept off for it. That happens all the time.

Obviously many children are genuinely ill but schools have to be seen to be doing something about attendance. Schools will never win on this one.

Sirzy Sun 07-Feb-16 13:13:07

And do you seriously think a certificate is going to stop parents keeping Children off for a graze? Or tackle the reason for a child faking illness?

Schools should be working with individual families not using a one size fits all approach which makes things even harder for those with genuine problems.

saltlakecity Sun 07-Feb-16 13:16:48

Of course I don't think a certificate is going to help but schools have to be seen doing something for Ofsted's sake. Of course we work with those types of families. My school has a designated family liason officer and this is a huge part of her job. Do you honestly think we sit back twiddling our thumbs thinking a piece of card is going to solve a massive issue?

saltlakecity Sun 07-Feb-16 13:18:27

The certificates do help the kids to see the school see attendance as important.

Sirzy Sun 07-Feb-16 13:20:17

So your saying you put ofsted above the needs and feelings of the children - and that is what is wrong with the education system in too many schools.

There are plenty of ways to show children attendance is important which doesn't put the health and feelings of other pupils in jeapordy.

saltlakecity Sun 07-Feb-16 13:24:39

I'm sorry but if your child is that upset about a certificate then you have bigger fish to fry. I'm lucky to be at a school that doesn't put ofsted first but why should hundreds of children miss out on a certificate because your child has been ill? Rediculous.

Sirzy Sun 07-Feb-16 13:27:21

I'm lucky my son doesn't go to a school with staff as unsympathetic as you!

Surely it doesn't take a genius to realise that for children with chronic medical conditions that anything which publicly highlights the fact they are different can cause problems?

Add to that the fact that the pressure for good attendance means other parents send children into school sick so the poor children with chronic illness get sick again and have to miss more school.

But hey as long as children can get a certificate for being lucky that's all that matters!

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