Inspectors praise school's attendance initiative

Posted on: Monday 13 May 2024
west mon attendance #NIMO

Estyn inspectors have praised a secondary school for its attendance reward scheme, which has reduced persistent absenteeism.

Inspectors visited West Monmouth School, in Pontypool, last month as part of its annual schedule of school inspections.

Their report, published last week, found pupils valued the system, which means they earn points for 100 per cent attendance every week to spend on a range of extra-curricular activities and treats.

It recognised the scheme, which also rewards positive behaviour, has had a positive impact on attendance rates, which have increased by nearly three per cent on average since September. 

The inspectors also praised the school for creating a supportive environment which helps pupils to thrive and uses a range of strategies to raise pupils' aspirations.

The report said: "Pupils value the opportunities they have to participate in extra-curricular activities, develop their leadership skills and play an active role in school life.

"Leaders have secured a number of improvements to the school's work. They have been successful in promoting a culture of safeguarding, have improved rates of attendance well and use a range of beneficial strategies to reduce the impact of poverty on pupil outcomes."

The inspectors found most pupils at the school "make sound progress in the development of their knowledge, understanding and skills", including children with additional learning needs. 

Councillor Richard Clark, Executive Member for Education, said: "I am very pleased Estyn has praised West Monmouth School for its innovative approach to improving school attendance.

"Excellent attendance rates are essential if pupils are to take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities schools have to offer, and it is clear there is a lot on offer for pupils at West Mon.

"Helping all pupils achieve their potential is a key part of our Not In Miss Out campaign and is one of our key County Plan Wellbeing Objectives." 

The inspectors made three recommendations: to ensure teaching challenges pupils of all abilities; to provide for progressive skills development and to ensure self-evaluation processes are robust and accurate. 

Visit our website for information about the council's school attendance policy.

Last Modified: 13/05/2024 Back to top