Pupils from 14 schools across Northern Ireland were honoured at a special event on Friday 16 December 2016 to celebrate the completion of their school journey without missing a single day.
The Education Authority (EA) hosted the event at the Integrated College Dungannon where young people and their families were congratulated by EA Chairperson Sharon O’Connor. Fourteen young people attended the event and were presented with certificates to recognise completion of either 12 or 14 years of school in June 2016 with a full attendance record.
"We are delighted to acknowledge the achievement of the young people here today and the support of their teachers, wider school staff, families and carers. Today’s event recognises that full attendance at school is an achievement in itself and we celebrate this commitment to learning,” said Ms O’Connor.
The Chair continued, the EA would like to take this opportunity to welcome the Department of Education’s ‘Miss School=Miss out’ strategy, and the recent guidance from the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) which further promotes and encourages good practice to managing attendance.
“Research shows that pupil attendance and educational achievement are inextricably linked. Young people who remain in education are more likely to gain qualifications; form positive social networks; find support on their journey to adulthood; end up in positive relationships and are more likely to have a sense of hope, she added.”
EA Board Member and Chair of the CYPS Committee, Mrs Carville OBE, commended the young people and acknowledged the contribution of parents in supporting strong school attendance.
“The efforts of parents and guardians who support their children’s learning by encouraging them to aim for full attendance cannot be underestimated. Getting children to school is vitally important and is not always easy, she said.
In her closing remarks, she emphasised that the formation of lifelong habits, the ability to make and maintain friendships and relationships, greater self-esteem, and a more active social life outside school are all benefits associated with pupils who attend regularly.