School defends trips for good attendance policy – parents call it unfair to ill children

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…

More at: School defends trips for good attendance policy – parents call it unfair to ill children

 

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…

 

Are trips and treats for good attendance a good idea?

 

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Comments

  1. TeaLadyJune

    SchoolsImprove How long’s she been in post earning a small fortune? Outcomes? The longer she takes the more time there’s for abusers to die

  2. Judging schools on their attendance figures encourages this kind of thing.   Children get sick.  Ofsted who criticise below-average attendance should realise this.  But it’s too useful a stick to beat schools with.  Sir M recently chastised heads who blamed parents for poor attendance.  Parents are ultimately responsible for getting their children to school (when they’re well, of course) but Sir M thinks schools should somehow force persistent absentees into school.  This attitude will only encourage schools to do all they can to dissuade applications from parents who are likely to be lax in sending children to school or from those whose children might be absent through sickness rather a lot (eg the child with brittle bones, the one with cystic fibrosis),

  3. VictoriaJaquiss

    At some expense, the late unlamented private education company, Education Leeds, hired the Civic Hall and a local “celebrity” , and awarded attendance certificates to the 100% attenders, my son amongst them. This meant his dad had to be at the Hall at 8 am for the Awards breakfast, and watch, as our son got this pointless piece of laminated card, which he then threw away when he got home as they hadn’t spelt Jaquiss correctly [ever thus!]. He had 100% because he was fit and healthy, liked school and we both worked, so at the sign of a snuffle, staying off wasn’t an option. He was rewarded for being himself. And the reward was to get up even earlier and have breakfast in public. His attendance was not an effort for him. Better I would say to reward improved attendance, but a trip? No. A book at Awards Evening, methinks.

  4. cheisback

    SchoolsImprove every school should allow children one week off in the year for a holiday and the summer holiday period should be reduced

  5. Davis77Alex

    SchoolsImprove SHE CANT GO ON THE ATTENDANCE TRIP BECAUSE HER ATTENDANCE ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH. COMPRENDEZ??

  6. PlantLeidy

    SchoolsImprove These rewards exist because sadly, some parents keep well kids off school, and state schools get blamed for poor attendance.

  7. thiskidsthinkin

    This isn’t fair to sick children. There are children with chronic health issues and those who have accidents, these things happen. A certificate at assembly or something for high percentage attendance is also reward and doesn’t mean some children miss out on seeing a film with their friends. My daughter would have been really sad to miss out on a trip after she broke her leg and couldn’t attend school for a month. I doubt the homeschooling she received in that time would count towards attendance!

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