Cash incentives to turn up to school

Classes with the best attendance levels and marks could earn up to €10,000 a year to spend together on group activities

4 October 2009

SCHOOL pupils on the outskirts of Paris could earn up to €10,000 this year to spend together as a class in a new experiment aimed at reducing absenteeism.

Education chiefs in Créteil have launched the initiative at three lycées in the town and will extend the scheme next year if it proves a success.

Each class is enticed with a cash “jackpot” of €2,000 at the beginning of the year, rising by an extra €2,000 every three months depending on pupils’ marks and their attendance levels.

If every pupil turns up when they are supposed to and gets good marks, they will have earned €10,000 between them by the end of the academic year.

However pupils will not get their share of the cash to spend as they like. Instead it will be put towards a group activity, such as an outing, the setting up of an association or the purchase of new equipment.

The government’s youth tsar, Martin Hirsch, said: “This is not an individual jackpot – it is a group project and everyone in the class needs to work together as a team for it to function.”

Ile-de-France president Jean-Paul Huchon warned that the experiment would make other classes not taking part in the scheme jealous, and could lead to a rise in violence.

School parents’ association Peep said it was worried about the initiative. "We do not want students to be motivated by money," the group said.

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