We are committed to promoting high rates of attendance, attainment and the well-being of our children at Maesglas Primary School. We value ‘being in school every day’ and the positive impact this has on children, helping them to enjoy their learning and supporting their wellbeing.
During the Covid pandemic, understandably, many children missed a significant period of time learning in school. Our school adhered to the Welsh Government guidance and expectation that children should be sent home from school when Covid symptomatic and isolate when necessary. This process seemed very unnatural to us, as our approach has always been to encourage the children to be present as much as possible.
During the pandemic, along with all schools and supported by Welsh Government guidance, we altered our ethos and approach to attendance.
At the start of this academic year, we are now able to reintroduce our ‘attendance incentives and rewards’ to encourage children to be in school ‘for every single session possible’.
In the past, the children have responded brilliantly to these incentives and rewards. I am sure that they will be excited to see them introduced. Many children will not have known these incentives/awards previously. Hopefully they are equally motivated and enthused.
The Incentive/Reward System:
Each child receives two raffle tickets each week for 100% attendance (these go into a draw). At the end of the half term 5 tickets are drawn (each ticket winner receives a £10 voucher). The more ‘weeks of 100% attendance’, the more tickets can be achieved and therefore there is an increased chance of winning.
At the end of each full term, children with 100% attendance for that term, receive a certificate and the chance to win a tablet computer (therefore three chances each year; one for each of the terms)
The class with the best attendance in each phase, each week wins a class reward.
The class in each phase, with the best monthly attendance, receives a class treat.
Our other supportive mechanisms:
We monitor attendance daily. A series of graded letters are issued, in consultation with the Education Welfare Officer, to inform families when attendance levels might present as a concern.
We offer meetings with families when attendance is a concern. Together we strive to agree shared strategies to improve attendance levels. These meetings are often very productive.
The information below helps to highlight the significant impact that missing school can have on a child’s education:
A child who misses just one day a week over each year, will lose 20% of their time in school, or the equivalent of a whole year for every 5 years in school.
We aim for 100% attendance. Attendance of 95% means that your child misses 2 whole weeks of school. Attendance of 92% means that your child misses 3 whole weeks of school.
Fixed Penalty Notices
The Welsh Government has re-introduced the use of Fixed Penalty Notices for non-school attendance. Following an announcement from the Minister for Education and Welsh Language giving details of this change, schools in Newport will resume their use of Fixed Penalty Notices to ensure children and young people are accessing their education.
A Fixed Penalty Notice is an early deterrent intended to prevent more extended periods of unauthorised absence developing and incur a fine of £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 28 days of the notice being served. Failure to pay a penalty notice will result in prosecution under the Education Act 1996.
We very much appreciate your support in ensuring that your child attends school for every session possible.
Please read the following letter from Newport Chief Education Officer which can be downloaded here.