Attendance goes to the wall

It is generally seen as a good idea to reward the good attendance of pupils. But, at a school in Neath, the teachers, office staff and even the caretaker are being recognised for making it through the school gates.

For the past three years, pupils at Crymlyn primary school with a 100 per cent attendance record have been receiving certificates at end-of-term presentations. But staff who manage the same attendance are also being rewarded, with their pictures put up alongside model pupils on a dedicated wall area.

At the National Association of Head Teachers' recent national conference in Bournemouth, Crymlyn head Susan John said: "It isn't just about recognising teachers but all the staff who turn up day in day out."

There is a certificate every term for the class with the most improved attendance, encouraging pupils to turn up for the sake of their fellow classmates. And they will soon get the chance to win one of two pound;15 book tokens.

But the idea has pleased some of the teaching unions. Rhys Williams, communications officer at NUTCymru, said: "With the best will in the world teachers can get sick. If someone is genuinely ill they shouldn't be made to feel inferior if they can't come in."

Leader, page 26

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