Top Treorchy schoolchildren have celebrated their classroom attendances thanks to an initiative between Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and a local business.
Adrian Emmett of The Lion in Treorchy offered his support for the competition, which was called The Lion Challenge, to reward those children from local primary and comprehensive schools who have achieved top attendance during the year.
The challenge was supported by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Attendance and Wellbeing Service who work to raise education standards by ensuring improved attendance in all schools throughout the County Borough.
The Lion Challenge was designed for pupils at Treorchy Comprehensive School and all of the primary schools in the Treorchy cluster, including nearby Welsh medium schools.
All pupils had their attendances monitored throughout the term and those who achieved 100% attendance were awarded certificates and 20% off meal vouchers for their families at The Lion. They were also entered into a draw with a chance for one pupil in the cluster to win a Kindle.
Last term 202 pupils in Treorchy Comprehensive School achieved 100% and 307 pupils from the throughout the primary schools.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, Cllr Eudine Hanagan said: “We are very grateful to The Lion for launching such a first-class initiative aimed at raising attendance levels throughout the upper Rhondda Fawr.
“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.
“The impact of a good education on a community is profound. There is a strong connection between illiteracy and social exclusion for young people and adults. By working with schools, governing bodies and head teachers we will ensure resources available are used to the very best effect to deliver an excellent learning experience in Rhondda Cynon Taf.”
Adrian Emmett added, “I believe that local businesses have an obligation to support the community. I feel strongly about education and believe that attendance is vitally important. The Lion is a real community pub enjoyed by all ages, and it is nice to give back to the community that has given me so much.”
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.
Tackling school attendance is part of robust plans to make major improvements in schools throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf. The ambitious and impressive proposals aim to raise education standards right the way across the County Borough.