Hundreds of school pupils enjoyed an afternoon of fun and games at a special event to celebrate their excellent attendance.

This is the fifth year that Nottingham City Council has held the Lord Mayor’s Attendance Awards, which celebrates youngsters who go the extra mile to be in school – as well as those who have clocked up a perfect 100% attendance.

Around 300 pupils and their families attended the event on Thursday 5 July from 3.30pm to 6pm at the Harvey Hadden Sports Village, in Bilborough.

Schools were invited to nominate two pupils to send to the celebration event. These could be youngsters with the best attendance or the most-improved attendance.

All pupils at the celebration received a Lord Mayor’s Award and got to have their photo taken with the man himself, Councillor Liaqat Ali. The event was a fun celebration for all the children and their families, and they were entertained with games and activities.

Councillor Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Education and Skills at Nottingham City Council, said: “We’re proud of pupils who make sure they are in school each and every day. We know that some overcome illness, difficult personal circumstances or might be caring for another member of their family.

“It’s important to recognise their achievement and we wanted to do something special for those pupils to show that their commitment doesn’t go unnoticed. These awards are a way of recognising them.

“We have some exceptional young people in Nottingham. We know that the majority of pupils and their parents are doing a great job of getting to school every day and it’s good to reward those who have really gone the extra mile.”

The awards are part of a wider drive by the City Council and the Education Improvement Board to work with schools to improve attendance in Nottingham. This includes:

  • a zero-tolerance approach to fining parents whose children are persistently absent from school
  • Truancy patrols in key hotspots around the city
  • Rewarding and recognising excellent attendance

Latest figures from the Department for Education show that Nottingham is continuing to make positive strides on attendance.

For the autumn term 2017, the percentage of overall school absence in Nottingham primary and secondary schools fell to 4.5% from 4.8% at the same point in 2016. This rate has almost halved from 8.1% in the autumn term of 2010.

This is in contrast to the national average, which has increased from 4.1% in 2015 to 4.3% in both 2016 and 2017.

Councillor Khan added: “We’re really pleased to be performing well compared with the national position on attendance. This is down to the hard work of schools, teaching staff, parents, carers, the Council, but mostly the pupils themselves.

“There is still more to do, however. We have closed the gap on the national average but now we want to go to the next level and begin to outperform our national peers.”

The Lord Mayor’s Attendance Awards were launched in July 2014 and have become an annual fixture in the school calendar.

Picture caption: (from left) Esme, Ellis, Alex and Jack with Councillor Ali.