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650 years without missing school

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The Open Council are proud to announce Five Newcastle students have gone an astonishing 11 years without missing a single lesson.

Stephen Phillipson (Heaton Manor) Deborah Dawson (Sacred Heart RC High) Christopher Halford (St Mary's RC School) and Tania Ormston and Victoria Orr (Walker Technology College) have wracked up an incredible 55 years of uninterrupted perfect school attendance between them.


The fabulous five were last night honoured in front of their families alongside 133 other great attenders - who have not missed any school in years - at Newcastle Education Welfare Service’s annual celebration of amazing attendance at St James Park.

The event, supported by Newcastle United, included a roadshow hosted by Metro Radio’s Marky Mark and Kenny D, a sports quiz with players from Newcastle United’s Football Academy, and plenty of other family fun.

Fantastic prizes, including a Mountain Bike donated by Warburtons, tickets to see Newcastle United take on Arsenal and to see Girls Aloud perform at the Metro Radio Arena, family passes for the Centre for Life and gift vouchers for Eldon Square and Asda were also up for grabs.

Gillian Sanders, council’s Attendance Initiatives Development Officer said: “Achieving 100% attendance for just one academic year is fantastic but 11 years is absolutely incredible. Between them these exceptional children and young people have a total of 650 years of not missing one day at school which is a fantastic achievement. We are delighted to give them and their families the chance to celebrate.

“There is a direct link between attendance and attainment and children and young people with good attendance records will have the best chance of future success. Celebrations like these are just some of the ways in which we recognise and reward excellent attendance.

"We would once again like to thank Newcastle United and all our other partners for their ongoing support."

Council leader John Shipley, who will be attending the event, said: “Celebrations like these are just some of the ways in which we try to recognise and reward excellent attendance, but the real rewards of regular attendance are the life opportunities educational achievement brings.

“We want to encourage pupils to attend school so that they can get the most out of their education and be successful. All of the pupils who have been invited to this event deserve to be proud of their achievements."

David Williamson, Executive Director - Operations, at Newcastle United said: “This is a terrific initiative and one that we have been very pleased to have played our part in over the years. Achieving a 100% attendance record is something to be justifiably proud of and when this is extended over 11 of years, it is truly remarkable.

"The importance of schooling can never be under estimated and our congratulations go to all concerned. In welcoming everyone to St. James' Park, I hope it will prove to be a memorable evening for all the participants."

138 children in Newcastle have gone at least 3 years without missing a day of school.

These figures are broken down as follows

56 have achieved 3 years

26 have achieved 4 years

24 have achieved 5 years

10 have achieved 6 years

5 have achieved 7 years

4 have achieved 8 years

4 have achieved 9 years

4 have achieved 10 years

5 have achieved 11 years

An further 241 pupils who have made it to two years without missing any school will also be sent certificates marking their achievement