Mayor Cllr Watts presented some of the awards
Top school attenders from throughout the County Borough were celebrated for their dedication at a special awards ceremony.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Attendance and Wellbeing Service hosted the second successive “Attend and Achieve Celebration Evening” which recognises those secondary school students who have shown genuine commitment not to miss out on classes.
The presentation evening, held at Garth Olwg Lifelong Learning Centre in Church Village paid tribute to those top-attending youngsters who had faced personal or family difficulties and had gone above and beyond to either maintain or improve their school attendance.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, Cllr Eudine Hanagan explained: “The presentation evening celebrated those students who had shown total commitment to their schooling and were determined to succeed by ensuring top attendance levels. This must be congratulated and I’m glad we had the opportunity to do so at the awards.
“We want to provide children in the County Borough with an educational experience that enables them to make the most of the opportunities available to them in adulthood. Tackling truancy and pupil absence is a key part of this and it was pleasing to receive recognition from Estyn recently that our focus on improving attendance is having a positive impact.“
Secondary School Attendance Officers from all comprehensive schools in Rhondda Cynon Taf were invited to nominate one pupil from their school who they believed to be an inspiration to others, by overcoming barriers to attend classes.
The nominees were invited to the stage in front of family and friends to collect their prize from Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf Cllr John Watts and Cllr Eudine Hanagan. Each nominee received a certificate and a Kindle Fire.
The mid-evening talent showcase was delivered by Cor y Cwm and conducted by Elin Llewellyn-Williams.
The recipients of the awards were:
Sophie Prowle – Aberdare Girls
Callum Carey – Aberdare High
Abbie Evans – Blaengwawr
Lloyd Hunt – Bryncelynnog
Jessica Harvey – Cardinal Newman
Demi Marie Walsh – Ferndale
AlexUnderhill – Hawthorn
Kieran Greenaway – MACS
Fern Gumery – Pontypridd
Brittany Maiden – Porth
Angaharad Hall – St Johns
Jessica Millard – Tonyrefail
Anthony Smallman – Tonypandy
Rutendo Dufano – Treorchy
Chelsea Callaghan – Y Pant
Molly Rowlands – YG Cymer
Brandon Corbett – YG Garth Olwg
Lara Harris – YG Rhydywaun
Rhiannon Griffiths - YG Llanhari
Poor attendance can have huge implications on a child’s education and parents can be summoned to court and face fines of up to £1,000 for allowing this to happen. Officers take a multi-agency approach when working with local PCSO’s from South Wales Police, Communities First, Health Clinics, Magistrates’ Courts and GP Surgeries to combat the problems.
Tackling school attendance is part of the pioneering and robust plans to make major improvements in schools throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf.