Every school day counts

Every Day Counts is raising awareness of the benefits of attending school every day. Photo: Jerome Whittingham.

Last week, Head teachers from all of the city’s secondary schools and several primary schools were joined by Hull KR and Hull FC and their mascots, as well as the Lord Mayor, Councillor Stephen Wilson, to launch a new campaign encouraging pupils to aim for 100 percent attendance at school.

Every Day Counts launched to raise awareness of the benefits of attending school every day.

Full-time primary and secondary school pupils who achieve 100 percent attendance, without being late, this academic year will be rewarded with an invite to go to Hull Kingston Rovers or Hull FC rugby clubs for a morning of activities and a chance to meet the players next summer.

Further incentive is being given throughout November, when all pupils who achieve 100 percent attendance during the month will be automatically entered into a prize draw, with Viking FM offering a prize of £250, plus another 10 prizes of gift vouchers, concert tickets, cinema tickets and technology.

Councillor Peter Clark, Portfolio Holder for Learning, Skills and Safeguarding Children, says: “Maintaining good attendance is vital to a young person’s education and helping them to fulfil their potential and future aspirations. I hope this campaign encourages good attendance across the city and pupils will see the benefit.”

Jo Moxon, Assistant Director for Learning and Skills said: “We know that pupils who attend school regularly are more than twice as likely to achieve five or more good GCSE grades than those who have high levels of absence. This in turn impacts upon successful further education and good career prospects.”

At the launch two pupils were celebrated for their outstanding achievement of 100 percent attendance throughout their education.

16-year-old school leavers, Ben Parry of west Hull and Paris Glover of east Hull, have never missed a single day’s education, at any of their primary or secondary schools.

Ben Parry, 16, who attended St Mary’s College and Thoresby Primary School, said: “To have 100% attendance at school is a massive achievement. I think it’s important to have a good outlook on your subjects even if you don’t like them.

“I was a bit apprehensive about getting my GCSE results, especially for maths, because I really struggled with it. I might not be a top-performing student, but I’m proud that I got the results I needed, which meant I could go into sixth form. If I’d missed any days of school, it’d be even harder to get the results that I needed. You miss loads in one day, and you might not be able to catch up.

“I’m now at the next stage of my education, at St Mary’s sixth form, doing A-levels in health and social care, criminology and applied science, and a BTEC in drama. I want to be a paramedic and, to do that, you need three A-levels including a science, plus your baseline GCSEs.”

Paris Glover, 16, who attended Archbishop Sentamu Academy, Stockwell Academy and Marfleet Primary School, says: “I’ve never missed a day of school and I’ve never had a late mark either! My parents helped me to concentrate on school. I was never allowed to have my phone or my iPad past a certain time on school nights.

“After college, I really want to either be a paramedic, a combat medic in the Army, or work on a closed psychiatric ward. I remember really clearly being in Year 6 and seeing a documentary on Amanda Todd [a 15-year-old who took her own life after being cyberbullied] and that really opened my eyes and made me want to do something that helps people.”

For more information about school attendance and absence go to http://www.hull.gov.uk/schoolattendance

[Anna Pilgrim – Hull City Council]