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Pupils celebrate good attendance with prize haul

A new bike, computer consoles and even a class outing to a soft play area were just some of the prizes up for grabs when pupils with excellent or improving attendance were invited to Swansea's Civic Centre for the first ever awards ceremony.

Pupils at the attendance awards at ceremony at Swansea Civic Centre

The Education Department teamed up with local businesses to provide some fantastic prizes for the Incentivising Attendance Programme.

Youngsters around the city who achieved a 98 per cent or better attendance record during the first 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 and the winners and their families collected their prizes.

More than 12,000 pupils in schools across Swansea had their names in the hat based on the first half of the autumn term.

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

Cllr Jen Raynor, Cabinet Member for Education, 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.

"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."

Pupils are identified for the prize draw from school data and each assigned a number to enter the draw.

Checks are made with head teachers and parents or carers to make sure the prizes allocated are suitable before winners are announced.

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.

Figures show attendance in Swansea's secondary schools was 94.32% in the last academic year, with attendance at our primary schools reaching 95.7%.

Cllr Raynor added "Attendance at school is crucially important because it increases a child's chances of achieving their full potential, helping pave the way for successful careers in the workplace.

"We're determined to build on these strong foundations, which is why the Incentivising Attendance Programme has been launched.

"We'll continue to work closely with pupils, parents, schools and governors to further improve school attendance in future."

Recent figures released by the Welsh Government and the Local Government Data Unit show every child in Swansea leaves school with a recognised qualification while the city's GCSE results are among the best in the country.

Here pupils from Craigcefnparc Primary School, who won a class prize, explain why turning up for school is so important.


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