Wakey, wakey - time for school

PUBLISHED: 06:40 03 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:41 24 May 2010

PUPILS in Weston are being given cash incentives and being driven to school by staff while their parents are being handed fines in a bid to raise attendance levels

PUPILS in Weston are being given cash incentives and being driven to school by staff while their parents are being handed fines in a bid to raise attendance levels.A total of 55 parents in North Somerset have been fined for failing to get their children to attend school regularly since last September.Hilary Truss, assistant headteacher at Broadoak Community School, said staff drew up a risk list of pupils who could miss exams and assigned them a learning mentor.The staff mentors were used to pick children up in their cars who had overslept or forgotten their exams were on.A total of five students' parents were fined this year for poor attendance at Broadoak.Mrs Truss said: "The type of people who are being fined are the students who are reluctant to come to school and parents who are reluctant to even get them out of bed."There are so many reasons why children panic at the end of the year and that's why we put together the risk list and assigned learning mentors to those pupils.""This affects a small minority of pupils and we also held 'booster lessons' 30 minutes before exams with revision tips and served coffee, bananas and toast."Students at Priory Community School in Worle who have attended 95 per cent of classes and all their GCSE exams will have the chance to win five £50 cheques at a draw on September 5.The 15 and 16 year old pupils will also have the chance to win cash prizes for attending revision classes and getting their predicted grades in their exams. The school is using funds from a £9,000 two-year charitable donation. Teachers are thinking of taking money from the school's budget if the scheme is a success this year.Denise Richards, director of learning of Key Stage 4 at Priory Community School, said: "We did issue fixed penalty notices to three students' families after repeated poor attendance."If students attend all their GCSE exams then their names will go into the draw to win a cash prize. We felt that with our pupils it was appropriate to go this way rather than chase them to go to school for our own reasons."Teachers at Worle Community School have bought a bicycle and will raffle it off to pupils who have a high attendance record.

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