The Boy Child attends a school where 100% attendance is rewarded. At the end of each term, children who haven’t missed a day receive a metal badge to wear on their blazer. If they manage 100% attendance for the whole school year, the badge is yellow in colour.
Now in his third year at the school, The Boy Child has two yellow badges (for Years 4 and 5) and has just received a green badge for 100% attendance during the Autumn term of Year 6. He likes to receive them, with a public name-check during an assembly, and wears the yellow ones on his blazer. (It’s too much of a faff to have them all on there.)
Now, as we are aware, 100% attendance is mostly down to chance, to be fortunate enough not to fall ill during term time. But also, in the case of children with disabilities, other factors can sometimes interfere with attendance at school – severe anxiety, for example, or even cases where a child has been excluded. I happen to think that for The Boy Child, the badges are a gift. An act of public recognition that he has achieved something, even if that something has been outside his control. The likelihood of The Boy Child ever receiving a prize for academic achievement is fairly small, although he has received prizes for ‘most improved’, and if his sense of esteem and self-worth is boosted by a badge, who am I to disagree?
So, rewarding 100% attendance, yes or no?
There’s a lengthy blog post written by an autism mum who takes the opposite view here.