A HEADTEACHER who introduced text message alarms and voucher incentives to get children to school on time says she has seen a huge improvement in pupil punctuality.
Marian Fairley, headteacher at Lynnfield Primary School, in Grosvenor Street, Hartlepool, introduced the measures after more than 20 students were arriving up to 30 minutes late every day.
The head says she is now seeing only one or two pupils turning up just a few minutes late, and she is over the moon with the response of parents and children.
Mrs Fairley said: “We have seen such a big improvement in just a couple of weeks.
“Parents and children are making a great effort to make sure the pupils make it in before the bell.
“Children are walking past me in the corridor and telling me they were in at 8.45 that morning.
Mrs Fairley said 14 parents have so far signed up to receive the text message alert at 8am every day.
And she thinks that the alarm, paired with a £10 Morrisons voucher up for grabs every week, has made parents aware of how important it is for the children to get into school on time.
She added: “A lot of the parents have came up to me saying how good an idea it is.
“And every Friday we have pupils excited because they know they have been in on time every day that week and their name is in the draw for the vouchers.”
Lynnfield Primary has also recently introduced a new breakfast club, giving youngsters the chance to go into school any time after 7.30am and enjoy breakfast and some pre-school activities.
“The breakfast club is just another incentive for parents to get their children to school on time, or even earlier.” said Mrs Fairley.
“I have also spoken to all of the teachers and asked them to do something really enjoyable for the children between 8.45am and 9am.
“In the past they have had to do mental maths tests, but if they are watching videos or doing some fun activities for the first 15 minutes it gives them another reason to get into school on time.”