When we award children with 100% attendance awards, this is what we are celebrating. This is what other children and families are hearing…
- Well done for not being physically ill. An extra special well done for not being born with a long term illness.
- Congratulations, you haven’t suffered from a mental illness this year.
- Well done for not experiencing school anxiety.
- Congratulations on managing to avoid the bullies.
- Well done for not breaking any bones.
- Congratulations, no medical appointments were needed for you this year; doctors, hospital, physio etc.
- Well done for not having a family emergency that required you to take a day off.
- Congratulations, you live in a family that has avoided any serious family illness.
- Well done for avoiding a death in your family.
- Congratulations, you haven’t attended a funeral this year, lucky you!
Most of the time, 100% attendance is down to pure luck; punishing the misfortunate.
There will be some children who have managed 100% attendance because they’ve pushed themselves, they’ve pushed through some of the above. I’m not saying we shouldn’t celebrate that.
Of course, we can celebrate that ‘resilience’. But we should celebrate that privately, and not in front of other children.
Some children (or families) may not have shown the same ‘resilience’ this year, and that’s ok. No amount of ‘resilience’ would help some issues children and families have to face. They don’t need to feel like they haven’t done their best because of this.
Well done for taking the time off they needed, I say. Where’s the certificate for that?
Attendance is determined by many factors; not all of those are controlled by the child.
What do you think of attendance awards?