Free trips boost Belfast school attendance

The BBC is reporting that a school in Northern Ireland have recorded a significant drop in pupil absences after introducing free school trips. 

Botanic Primary introduced a range of measures to improve its attendance rate, which was one of the worst in Belfast.

In 2009, the attendance rate at the 220 pupil school was under 85%. This meant pupils on average missed school for one and a half out of every 10 days.

By 2015, their attendance rate had risen nearly 10% to 94%. The school also introduced rewards for good attendance.

These included a free school trip for children who attended school on at least 95% of days over the course of a term. The trips, to locations like the cinema or adventure centres, cost the school about £500 each.

However, they have been very successful. Fewer than one-third of the pupils were eligible for the first trip, but that has now risen to almost two-thirds of children.

More at: Free trips boost Belfast school attendance

Do you think that this is a cost-effective solution to increase attendance amongst students?  Will it improve attendance for the long-term or is this merely a short-term solution? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or via Twitter. ~ Meena

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Categories: Northern Ireland and Teaching.


  1. CherylSalmon

    Years ago, I began providing special treats (trips out etc) for the classes in my school with the best attendance, and we announced the “league table” every week in assembly. (We made special arrangements to discount the attendance of children with long-term chronic health problems to keep it fair)

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