Maddie Stevens is an eleven-year-old school girl. She lost her mother in January of 2014 due to breast cancer. Gail was battling with cancer for over two years but finally lost the battle. Maddie’s school had a program where they reward 100% attendance. St Giles Junior School is located in Bedworth Warwickshire. The school gave Maddie leave of absence to attend her mother’s funeral service. The schoolgirl had seen her mother battle with breast cancer, and it affected her a lot. As a way of giving her mother a decent sendoff, she was to attend the funeral, and it appeared the right thing to do.
Her decision to attend the funeral led her to miss a school treat that is preserved to those who attend all school days. The school treat was organized, and other qualifying pupils were taken to have a meal at Frankie & Bennys restaurant. The girl did not take it lightly, considering the only day she missed school was the one she had to attend the funeral.
Andy Stevens became aware of her daughter Maddie being omitted from the trip after it had taken place. The family was upset by the school decision. The girl had been trying to attend all school days; she had a 99.6% attendance record. According to Andy, the school should be celebrating the girl achievements rather than omitting her from the school trip because she was absent to attend her mother’s funeral. The death of her mother should not be used to discriminate her. It makes her feel bad.
The school decided to withdraw the scheme of rewarding pupils with 100% attendance after learning of the concerns of Andy. According to St Giles Junior School spokesman, the incident made the management think twice about their decision to reward the attendance. Some pupils miss school due to the reason that cannot be avoided. Discriminating against those pupils when rewarding those who have attended all days appears to be unfair. The headteacher Anne Perry was quick to offer an apology.
According to the headteacher, the data that was sued to pick the pupils was obtained from Government-backed system. The system picked only pupils based on the data. It never considered other pupils who missed a few days due to genuine reasons. He affirmed they decided to withdrawn the reward scheme. The incident made the school to have a look at the reward schemes they have in place and change. The girl had not attained the attendance required to go for the trip due to the system used. It failed to take into consideration the genuine concern of the girl missing school. He girl was not happy to miss the trip yet she had been hardworking only to be absent during her mother funeral and miss the trip.
Perry reiterated that it was not the intention of the school to upset anyone any pupils who were unable to attend the school due to compassionate or medical reasons. The headteacher further explained that the school fully sympathizes with Maddie family views. The school explained that they would have taken an immediate action had they known that they had caused any offence upon planning the trip. They did not have the opportunity to correct the situation. Their decision to withdraw the arrangement can be seen as the corrective step they decided to take to avoid the repeat of the same issue in the future.