Worcester News is reporting that a local school’s policy to exclude youngsters who do not meet strict attendance requirements from school trips is “sparking outrage” among parents.
Fairfield Community Primary School, in Warndon, runs special outings at the end of every half term for children whose attendance record is 96 per cent or above.
The school, which has the second lowest attendance in the whole of Worcestershire according to latest Department of Education figures, has defended the move – saying it has already boosted attendance by two per cent.
But parents say it is unfair that children who miss only a few days of school due to sickness or ill health miss out while their classmates enjoy the special outings.
Emily Ramage, 27, is so upset with the policy that she has launched a petition calling on the school to re-think the policy.
She says her six-year-old daughter Alissa Browning is now asking whether she has “done something wrong” after she missed out on the latest outing, a trip to the cinema on Tuesday to see Kung Fu Panda 3.
Year two pupil Alissa had 95.2 per cent attendance after two bouts of sickness and vomiting before and after Christmas meant she had to be kept at home for 48 hours.
Her mum, from Warndon, said: “My daughter is upset and doesn’t know why she hasn’t been allowed to go.
“She keeps asking if it is because she has done something wrong and I’ve told her she hasn’t, it is because she has been poorly but she said “I can’t help being poorly?”
“Nobody can pre-book an illness and you wouldn’t want to pass it on to other people in the class. I don’t let my children have time off willy-nilly, their education is very important.”
But interim headteacher, Vivienne Cranton, is standing by the policy, telling the Worcester News that the trips have been implemented this school year in a bid to improve attendance after Ofsted flagged it up as an area the school needs to improve…
The outings are also subject to good behaviour, with any child issued a ‘red slip’ being banned from the trip.
There are six trips a year as well as a popcorn and video treat for children who have had 100 per cent attendance. About 80 of the approximately 180 children at the school attended this week’s trip to the cinema…
This isn’t the first time we’ve covered stories of parents being upset about attendance awards but schools like this one say they need to do something to boost their attendance figures.
Which side are you one? Are trips like this to reward behaviour and attendance a good idea? If bot, what would you suggest instead?
Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
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