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Swans stars back drive that is improving pupils' school attendance

School pupils with excellent or improving attendance records have been praised by football stars Leon Britton and Lee Trundle.

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The pair attended a recent awards ceremony at the Guildhall where youngsters picked-up some fantastic prizes under Swansea Council's Incentivising Attendance Programme.

Swansea City AFC is backing the drive and club captain Leon and club ambassador Lee met pupils, presented them with their prizes and signed autographs.

Youngsters around the city who achieved a 98 per cent or better attendance record during the second half of the autumn term or had shown significant improvement in attendance compared to the same period in 2015 were entered into a prize draw.

More than 12,000 pupils in schools across Swansea had their names in the hat.

At a city wide level eight prizes are awarded every half-term with the council also recognising top performing classes or year groups.

Leon said: "I think it's a great scheme. I've got kids myself and to get them up and get them motivated for school is difficult but these kids are a great example of children who make the effort and get there and they're rewarded for that so hopefully their classmates can take notice of that."

Lee added: "With the standard of the prizes, when the kids go back into school and tell their friends what they got for their attendance, I think more kids will want to stay in school because to be rewarded like that is brilliant."

As well as the city-wide ceremony some schools have developed their own attendance incentives such as weekly and half termly awards, certificates etc in recognition for class of the week and end of year awards.

Just three years ago attendance at primary schools in Swansea had been highlighted by Estyn as an area for concern.

Since then huge strides have been made in improving attendance at primary and secondary level and Swansea is among the most improved across the whole of Wales.

Cllr Jen Raynor, Cabinet Member for Education, also attended the ceremony.

She said: "The improvement in attendance at schools in Swansea has been highlighted by Estyn as an area where we have made substantial progress in recent years.

"We are grateful to Swansea City AFC for supporting our drive to improve attendance and the pupils were clearly delighted that Leon and Lee were able to attend to present them with their prizes.

"It was lovely to meet some of the pupils who have played their part and to have a chance to congratulate them, their families and teachers for their excellent attendance records."


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