To think awarding medals/prizes for 100% attendance is really rewarding good antibodies, strong constitutions and a bit of luck.

(85 Posts)
Sleep404 Fri 19-Jul-13 22:09:23

I just don't get this policy. It doesn't encourage or insentivise kids and likely makes them either have a dont care attitude or upsets them as they lose out through no fault of their own.

Who's the target?
Kids who play truant arent going to suddenly show up because of an award/prize on the last day of term, so it can't be them.
Mums and Dads who take their kids out of school for special trips or holidays will likely see the benefits of the holiday, be it financial or educational, as more important than the reward.
So that leaves the kids who make every effort to attend every day, but through no fault of their own, they get sick and miss a few days. Why punish them further by implying they have done something wrong.

I find this utterly baffling.

VeryDullNameChange Sat 20-Jul-13 00:28:14

I do see that this isn't fair to children with ongoing health issues, but I don't agree that it's completely pointless. My DD had the disastrous combination of a chronic non-serious unprovable health condition and a tendency to malinger, and the attendance awards have improved her attitude noticeably. And a KS2 pupil can influence their attendance, either by getting themselves to school on their own (sad but necessary in some cases) or, less drastically, by being cooperative. If a parent is struggling for whatever reason then the difference between a child who is digging their heels in and fighting every inch out of the door or a child who is up, dressed, made themselves some cereal and is saying "I'm ready Mum" can be the difference between a 95% attendance and 75%.

I do think that these threads polarise parents into the ones who are doing absolutely everything possible, and the ones who are completely feckless and don't care, neither of whom can be incentivised to change their behaviour in anyway. But actually there are a large number in the middle ground who do sort-of care but are a bit crap, and for whom carrots and sticks will work.

Whether the advantage you gain is worth the disadvantage of "punishing" sick children or incentivising parents to break quarantine is a serious question, but I think there are real advantages.

SirChenjin Sat 20-Jul-13 09:09:42

Perhaps the award shouldn't be for attendance in that case VeryDull, but behaviour or attitude to school or something along those lines?

OwlinaTree Sat 20-Jul-13 09:17:37

Awards in school are given for many things. Maybe the award for 100% attendance is the only one a child is likely to get? They might not be academic high flyers, might not be on a sports team, but they love coming to school and have been here everyday! Why not reward that? It's a shame if you are ill, of course, but you might get a chance to win another prize, I doubt these are the only awards a school ever gives.

emanjay Sat 20-Jul-13 09:32:40

Ds has regular appointments and these clinics are held in school hours. He didn't ask for his condition and it is unfair he is automatically excluded from this reward through no fault of his own. Appointments aside he does have 100% attendance, but will never get the recognition. I have written to our school Head about this because he was insisting he had not missed a day of school and couldn't understand why he was left out

jamdonut Sat 20-Jul-13 09:34:51

100 % attendance is rewarded at our school,(at the end of the school year with a trip to a local play area,where they also get a meal) because it IS an achievement.

Also, improved attendance is rewarded.

It is basically like doing the lottery. It could be your child that manages to achieve it.

But the children are made aware that it is not their fault if they are sick and can't come in, and maybe they will be lucky enough to achieve the award the following year.

We also celebrate attendance each week,(with a cup for the class to display for the week),with the children very eager to know who has won.

There are also rewards for children whose behaviour has been impeccable all year. Would you say it is unfair, if your child has misbehaved during the year, that they don't get rewarded?

missmargot Sat 20-Jul-13 09:43:05

YANBU. I used to work for a company that incentivised 100% attendance (holidays aside) and you had a holiday prize draw entry for every year of perfect attendance you had, so 4 years perfect attendance = 4 prize draw entries. As soon as you had a day off sick your score went back down to zero. The result was a group of people who refused to ever take a day off sick no matter how ill or how contagious and used to spread their germs around the office for the rest of us to enjoy.

OneUp Sat 20-Jul-13 09:51:21

We had 100% attendance awards in Secondary but I could never get one because I had braces and my parents couldn't afford to pay for private treatment which meant I always got the appointments private patients didn't want. If the school had made it so appointments didn't count I would have been more likely to have gone in straight from the orthodontists but since they didn't most people had a half day off.

OneUp Sat 20-Jul-13 09:51:35

Forgot to say YANBU!

CloudsAndTrees Sat 20-Jul-13 09:52:03

I think 100% attendance is too high to aim for, but I don't have a problem with them awarding 96% attendance, which is our schools target. They can have bronze, silver and good awards for different levels of attendance, which should make it achievable for the majority of pupils as long as they aren't suffering with a serious condition (which could allow their effort to be recognised separately) or their parents don't take them on holiday.

I don't think there's anything wrong with sending the message that attendance is important through giving certificates in assembly or something, but I think it goes too far when children who have got high attendance are rewarded with a special treat. That's just not fair on young children who have very little control over whether they go to school or not, and it just teaches them that life is unfair.

Taking children out on a special trip or doing a special activity might be ok if every child is given a chance to achieve it somehow through different things, but then that would defeat the point of it in the first place.

HoratiaNelson Sat 20-Jul-13 09:53:09

YABU if you ban attendance awtherein the basis that there will be people who can't get it because they're not lucky enough to be able to meet the requirements of getting that award and apply that logic to awards of all types...you end up with no awards for anything...

sheridand Sat 20-Jul-13 09:59:31

DD has 99.5 % attendence, she had an afternoon off for a dental appointment, and she didn't get a prize! Luckily, she is tough as old boots and said she preferred the prize she got for being good at the dentists anyway! DS never gets one, he is asthmatic. :-(

WeAreEternal Sat 20-Jul-13 10:05:18

DS is 6.

At his school all of the 100% attendees received a 'free family summer swim pass' which means the whole family (two adults and up to three DCs) can have as many free swimming sessions at the local leasure centre as often as they like for the whole summer break.
They also received a certificate a badge and their name and picture in the online news letter.

DS would have had 100% attendance if it wasn't for the four days he had to take off when a girl in his class came to school with a stomach bug, she vomited in the classroom three days in a row but her parents still returned her to school the next day. 12 of the children in DS's class then became ill within a few days.

This girl is one of the students who has received the 'prize' and award for 100% attendance.

It's a completely ridiculous system.

ChunkyPickle Sat 20-Jul-13 10:16:07

Agree - the kids who are persistent offenders couldn't care less about it, and those who miss a couple of days because they are sick are penalized through no fault of their own.

May as well flip a coin for an award. I know that I will not be putting any pressure on DS to achieve any of the awards with such an arbitrary basis. Awards should be for something the child has a fighting chance of controlling.

SirChenjin Sat 20-Jul-13 10:34:47

I would much rather children were awarded for attitude to school rather than attendance at school. Those children who might never win another award other than attendance can still be rewarded with a good attitude award, and those who are ill or who have a chronic condition that would mean they will never achieve 100% attendance can still achieve recognition for having a good attitude to school and learning. Imo attitude rather than attendance is far more important.

OwlinaTree Sat 20-Jul-13 10:39:35

SirChenjin But the government set attendance targets for schools to meet, not attitude targets...

VeryDullNameChange Sat 20-Jul-13 10:47:18

Chunky that's exactly what I mean by polarising attitude. There is a vast middle ground between "couldn't care less" and "no fault of their own" and that less than perfect area is where most people fall from time to time.

wfrances Sat 20-Jul-13 11:12:51

i have 4 dc and 3 of them hover between 96%/98% attendance
only reason for days off is sickness
ds 1 has just been rewarded at the welsh assembly for 100% attendance through out the whole of the secondry school,with 6 other pupils.
he is now sending off cvs and has interviews and that certificate from the WA is counting for a lot,
but he is never ill ,unlike my other 3 so im in both camps
its unfair for those who are ill,
but its a great plus for future employment

tethersend Sat 20-Jul-13 11:34:04

"While you might not like it, and I do appreciate the reasons given above, once you graduate to the big world of work, you get penalised and drawn into disciplinaries for taking time off. It's good to instil in children the idea that unless you're really bloody sick, you drag your arse out of bed and go to school, whether you want to or not."

So why don't schools reward children for parental earnings? This has a much bigger impact on educational outcomes, and it would be good to instil in children that a decent salary is essential in the world of work. The children could put pressure on their parents to earn more. The school could present every child whose household income exceeded say, £40,000 pa with an achievement award.

intheshed Sat 20-Jul-13 11:38:48

At DD's school, they get a raffle ticket for every full week that they are in school, and then there is a raffle at the end of each term and the 5 winners get taken on a trip somewhere. I think it's good as the kids with higher attendance still get a better chance of winning, but it still motivates kids even if they have had a few days off one week. And even if you have a full week off due to illness you only lose one raffle ticket.

OwlinaTree Sat 20-Jul-13 11:41:18

thethersend hmm biscuit

tethersend Sat 20-Jul-13 11:45:26

Why the face and the biscuit, owlina?

I am simply trying to highlight the absurdity of rewarding children for something they have no control over.

MidniteScribbler Sat 20-Jul-13 11:45:26

YANBU, and I would be screaming loudly if they ever tried to implement this at my school. If your child is sick, KEEP THEM HOME! I don't want them in my classroom, infecting everyone else and leading to more children having to take days off, or even worse, me, which then affects the learning of every other child in the classroom. Just for a freaking certificate.

Silverfoxballs Sat 20-Jul-13 11:48:24

DS school have a system, each child receives a raffle ticket when they do positive stuff. Could be helping at an event, good behaviour, good marks in a test, making progress, getting on a sports team, doing community work.

The form classes put the dc tickets in a hat, the better behaved you have been the more chances you have of getting the prize which was lunch out with teachers at a restaurant. DS won a place as did his friend. Okay there is an element of luck but I quite like that idea.

DS didn't have 100% attendance due to catching bug off a child who puked on the next desk and his grandfather dying. I disapprove of the attendance certificates especially as my own DS reasons for missing school were so bloody miserable.

OwlinaTree Sat 20-Jul-13 11:50:11

But if children want to come to school they are going to attend more often than if they don't. If they are vomiting everywhere they can't come, but if its just a bit of a headache they can come along and try, they might feel better after a bit. That's the attitude that attendance awards, in whatever form, are trying to encourage. And that is important in the real world. We have all worked with someone who is off at the first sneeze, and most of us find that irritating if we have to pick up the slack.

OwlinaTree Sat 20-Jul-13 11:52:29

And 100% attendance is an achievement, precisely because so few children manage it. If a school offers other incentives to attend too, then i don't see a problem with this as an extra 'wow' award.

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