Ban Schools From Offering Prizes For Good Attendance As It Discriminates Against Sick Kids

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In my opinion, it is time to stop offering end-of-year school trips and other prizes for good attendance as it is incredibly unfair to children who are battling short-term and long-term illnesses.

The same stories seem to crop up in the press every single year about children being told that they cannot take part in a fun end-of-term activity because they have had a certain number of days off, and often this is through no fault of their own.

Every discussion of this issue on Facebook also attracts comments from people whose children have suffered as a result of this sort of activity, from those having leukaemia treatment to others who have to attend outpatient appointments that simply cannot be scheduled during non-school hours.

Often, just a few days of absence can mean that they are excluded from these incentives, and it can be incredibly damaging to a child's mental health to be told that they will have to miss out through no fault of their own - this is all at a time when our government and schools are trying to champion childhood mental health.

Infectious illnesses are also difficult to fight off when they spread through a school like wildfire, and this is made even worse when parents intentionally send their ill children into school because they are concerned about attendance.

The sad truth is that schools only offer these incentives because the government puts a ridiculous emphasis on attendance figures, and so I believe that change needs to come from the very top. Let's create a culture in education where we value achievement, kindness, citizenship, effort and other qualities ahead of 'not being ill.'

Simon

Man Behaving Badly