Hundreds of school pupils descended on the Harvey Hadden Sports Village for an extra special event to celebrate excellent attendance.
This is the third year Nottingham City Council has held the Lord Mayor’s Attendance Awards, which celebrate youngsters who go the extra mile to be in school – as well as those who have clocked up a perfect 100% attendance.
The event this year was the biggest one yet, being held at the new £16 million Harvey Hadden complex.
Schools were invited to nominate two pupils to send to the celebration event. These could be pupils with the best attendance or most improved attendance.
The pupils received a Lord Mayor’s Award and got to have their photo taken with the man himself, Councillor Mohammed Saghir. The event was a fun celebration for all the children and their families, and there were games and activities for them to take part in.
Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills at Nottingham City Council, said: “We’re proud of pupils who make sure they are in school each and every day – especially those who overcome illness, difficult personal circumstances or because they are 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 those young champions in Nottingham.
“We have some exceptional young people in our city. 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.”
This is part of the City Council’s school attendance campaign, which was launched in June 2014 with a zero-tolerance approach to parents whose children are persistently absent from school, including a week of action emphasising the penalties and fines faced for non-attendance.
The authority is also working with schools and academies to promote and recognise excellent attendance as part of the long-term action plan to improve school performance through the Education Improvement Board.
Over the past few years, pupils with the best or most improved attendance were given prizes at a special Lord Mayor’s Attendance Awards. Nottingham City Council also joined forces with Capital FM again this year to run an award-winning campaign with secondary students to help improve attendance rates. The class from each school with the best attendance record got the chance to go to a top-secret gig with Professor Green.
School attendance in Nottingham is improving. The latest figures from the Department for Education show persistence absence has fallen from 4.6% in 2013/14 to 4.2% in 2014/15. The city has also seen a drop in overall absences from 5.1% in 2013/14 to 4.9% in 2014/15. We are narrowing the gap on national schools for overall absence significantly; in 2013/14 we were ranked 143 out of 152 Local Authorities and last year 2014/15 we were ranked 121.