Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Pupil attendance 3

In a recent conversation with a friend who works in the 'real world', as he often reminds me, I was shocked to learn that the reason that 80% of under 18s lose their employment is because of poor timekeeping and/or attendance. Can we as schools do something about this so that our young people are better prepared for life beyond school?

At tonight's parent council meeting we had opportunity to further explore how we will tackle absenteeism in the coming session. There is a view that we should apply employment -type standards to our expectations of pupils in regard to attendance; particularly those in the senior school. To that end, I propose, for next session, that we should set attendance targets for all pupils. Throughout the session pupils will be reminded about their attendance targets so that areas of concern are quickly brought to each pupil's attention. Parents will also need to be alerted where concerns arise.

What do we do with pupils whose attendance falls below expected standards? Do we allocate additional resources from an already overstretched budget to try and further support youngsters and families? Should pupils be asked to repeat a year if their attendance is very poor? Should pupils with very poor attendance be presented for exams?

In addition to target setting for attendance and punctuality, we are also proposing to move to vertical tutor groups. I.e. tutor groups comprised of pupils from S1 to S6. From our discussions so far it strikes me that there are many advantages to arranging registration classes in this way. For example, this will allow us to approach peer mentoring in a different way to previous attempts. Additionally, new S1 pupils will have 'buddies' that will continue with them well beyond the first few days at High School.

I look forward to consulting and listening to pupils and parents in the next few weeks.


Anonymous said...

Spaeking in my capacity as an S3 pupil I am really interested in the possible move a vertical registration system. I can see pros and cons to such a system but would like to hear a bit more about it. Where can I access a fuller account of the propsal. thx Alan

Anonymous said...

I hav to disagre. I think this is taking things too far.