Trips to the cinema and family meals out may not be the most obvious way to tackle truancy, but one social enterprise is using precisely these to combat absenteeism among schoolchildren in some of the most deprived areas of the country.
Motiv aims to reduce truancy by rewarding good attendance with meals in Nando’s restaurants, family outings to Odeon cinemas and vouchers for high street fashion stores such as Ben Sherman.
“Not only did attendance go up across the school — but the winning child went from 67 per cent attendance to 96 per cent which is life changing. If a child has only 80 per cent attendance it means that by the end of their schooling they will have missed out on an entire year at school,”
Motiv now operates in more than 300 schools in six local authorities and hopes to be operating nationwide within two years. Local authorities pay an average of £1.50 per pupil to take part in the Motiv Attendance Challenge, which rewards students with badges and prizes for good attendance. In Oldham, Motiv has been working with schools across the local authority and achieved a 54 per cent rise in the number of pupils achieving a 100 per cent attendance record between 2007 and 2008.
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