A Sunderland dad has hit out at a school reward scheme which he claims is ‘cruel’.
Graham Robson said the new treat at Hasting Hill Academy of an ice cream from a visiting van for the children who have 96% attendance or above is unfair on the other youngsters in the hot summer weather.
Do you think rewards for good attendance is fair on children? Vote here.
Although the 45-year-old said he is fully supportive of the school praising the childen who have good attendance, he said doing it this way makes the pupils who miss out think they have done something wrong.
Graham, who lives in Tilbury Road, said primary-aged children are not responsible for their attendance records, it is down to the parents, so why should they have to watch their friends going out to the ice cream van for a treat while they sit in a hot classroom.
The dad, who has a seven-year-old son at the school, said: “Everyone knows how excited children get when they see or hear the ice cream van and for some of them to be taken out of the class to get an ice cream and not others is cruel.
“They are just innocent bairns, some are younger than five, they don’t really understand about attendance, they are just wondering what they have done wrong.
Graham said: “I know the school needs to reward good attendance, but they could give the children a certificate or prize in assembly.”
He said his child’s attendance was just below the 96% because he spent a week in hospital with kidney problems and there is another child who has a life-threatening condition who is regularly in hospital and they were not allowed the treat.
Jane Walton, headteacher at Hasting Hill Academy, said: “Hasting Hill Academy is delighted to have been judged to be a good school with many strengths by Ofsted in June 2018. Only three areas of improvement were identified – one of them being to improve attendance.
Hasting Hill Academy parent Graham Robson is angry over free attendance ice cream
“The school is trying many and varied strategies to improve pupil attendance and can see a positive impact.
“Recognising good pupil attendance is one of the many ways pupils are rewarded in the school. Hasting Hill Academy is sorry that this particular approach has been perceived in a negative way.”