Thursday, 20 July 2017

100% attendance awards

Is it just me or are other parents getting a bit annoyed with these 100% attendance certificates/awards at school?

You see, I have an issue with this for a few reasons.

Firstly, children have a habit of catching things that happily spread around a classroom.  This can range from head lice to stomach bugs.  Whilst the former is no reason to be off school, the latter involves a minimum of 48 hours away.  This means that attendance drops below 100% but hey, what can you do about that?

Secondly, sometimes schools have to close for a reason.  This year, our school shut completely one Friday afternoon due to over 50% of KS1 children being off with a vomiting bug.  They were literally vomiting in corridors!  Therefore, although this is marked on the attendance report as a school closure, it has affected attendance. How can that even be the case?

Thirdly, to hear my little children worry that they won't get their 100% attendance certificate due to illness frustrates me no end.  I am fortunate in that my girls are basically very healthy and one has got 100% attendance (bar my 2nd point) and one had 48 hours off school with a sickness bug this academic year. So, in effect, they've done brilliantly. However, there are parents at the school with children coping with a range of severe illnesses.  How do these poor children feel when they are presented with bits of paper to say their attendance hasn't met the standards?

We all know that parents who make the effort to get their children to school will always do so, through coughs and colds and those that are always late or take their children out for any old excuse will also always do so.  I understand that attendance awards are supposed to keep everyone motivated but let's face it, those of us who are motivated are so naturally and a piece of paper saying our child had 100% attendance for a month isn't having any impact on us at all, as I'm sure it's not when other parents get a piece saying that their child's attendance is low.

Perhaps schools could think about scrapping attendance awards as I wonder what real benefit they have?

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