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Laura’s leap from truant to top pupil

A SCHOOLGIRL has turned her life around from being a persistent truant to achieving 100 per cent attendance.


A SCHOOLGIRL has turned her life around from being a persistent truant to achieving 100 per cent attendance.

Laura Shaw, 14, a pupil at Accrington Moorhead High School, said that a series of assemblies about truancy and an incentive scheme had made her realise what she could achieve with full attendance.

Now Laura, of Harwood Road, Rishton, is preparing to take nine GCSEs and wants to go to college to study child psychology, hoping to eventually work with troubled children.

Moorhead has a series of schemes to combat truancy and pupils with 100 per cent attendance have the chance to go on trips and to win prizes. The latest incentive is a prize draw to win a DVD player.

Laura said more schools should offer such schemes, adding: "It's really helped me. In assemblies we had lots of pep talks, which made me realise how important this year is. The prizes have helped too. It would be great if I could win the DVD player."

"I've had 100 per cent attendance since January. I used to hate coming into school. I thought it was rubbish and boring."

Laura, who has recently been filmed at school for a documentary about truancy, said she has noticed a big change in people's attitudes towards her.

She went on: "My mum is really proud of me and she's very encouraging. The teachers are really happy too, rather than being miserable and negative. When they are horrible to you it makes it worse and you don't want to come to school."

Headteacher Andrew Bateman said he was extremely impressed with the way Laura had turned her life around and was pleased how pupils in general were responding to the incentive schemes.

He said: "We are very pleased that Laura's attitude has changed. She is now very focused and keen on attaining her GCSEs. The turnaround has been quite dramatic."

"This concept of offering rewards for students with 100 per cent attendance is having a huge impact. It's about rewarding children who are successful, not just those who do well academically."


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
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Beth Abbit
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Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
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Garth Dawson
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