Newcastle City Council

School Attendance Challenge Prize Draw day 1.

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On Friday when I picked my daughter up from school she had a postcard in her back for the School Attendance Challenge Initiative by Newcastle City Council, Debenhams and Eldon Square. It runs for the month of March.

The 100% Attendance challenge is to attend school every day and arrive on time throughout the month of March to have a chance to win one of twenty £50 gift cards.

Basically this was a promotion postcard as Eldon Square and Debenhams are supporting Newcastle Education Welfare Service to celebrate the opening of Debenhams flagship store in Eldon Square, Newcastle.

“Gaining a good education through regular school attendance is the key to the best possible life chances and future success”.

As you have to add your child’s school details it is fair to assume this is a City Wide prize draw, so the chance of winning the prize draw is pretty slim.  Also, just to made sure you do not cheat and say that you have achieved a 100% attendance with no late starts the postcard lets you know that your childs attendance records will be confirmed with the school.

So how did we fare today?  Well, my daughter has 2 very slack front teeth and a sore throat so getting breakfast in her so we could leave the house was very problematic.  However, we were out on time and all was good but the car was frozen over, the automatic wing mirrors on the XF did not go into place so I took longer to get to school than usual because of the icy conditions.

We arrived after the 8.55 bell but before 9 AM.  Welcomed at the school gate by the Education Department of the Newcastle City Council who were collecting names of late attendees.  Although my daughter would have been in class before the register was taken and did not have to go through the late door as the school main entrance doors were open and she went straight inside with a string of other kids she has ‘failed’ the challenge on day one.

Is it really in the spirit of things for the Newcastle City Council Education Department for day 1 of the initiative to be collecting names at school gates??? I was back home before 9.05 and writing this.  Hardly that late a start but what sign does that make for my daughter, hardly her fault that she was minutes late for school due to things outside of her control and her ability to enter the prize draw lost already.

So what do the Education Department do with the names they collect at the school gates?  There were plenty of other late arrivals coming in as I left the school.  Well apparently they monitor late arrivals and lack of attendance as factors as to whether to take parents to court!!!

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