Revered broadcaster and former headteacher Roy Noble OBE has helped the Council launch its Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow school attendance campaign, in a special assembly at the new Cwmaman Primary School.

On Wednesday, February 13, the attendance campaign, which will work closely with primary and secondary schools across Rhondda Cynon Taf, officially began. It will reinforce the message to parents and pupils that attending school is vitally important, as the first step to a successful future. If pupils miss school, they miss out.

Headteacher Paul Morgan hosted the assembly at the new £7.2m Cwmaman Primary School, which opened with first-class facilities in September 2018 thanks to joint funding from #RCTinvest and the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Programme. It was delivered alongside an £85m investment across Rhondda and Tonyrefail in 2018/19, while new 21st Century Schools proposals for Pontypridd and the Cynon Valley are being developed for 2022.

BBC broadcaster Roy Noble OBE, a former Cwmaman resident, gave an engaging speech to the packed hall. A former Headteacher, he spoke about the importance of pupils attending school to achieve their goals – and urged the young people never to give up on their dreams and aspirations.

The special assembly saw pupils from the school’s choir put on an excellent performance of three songs – ‘We’re Proud of Our School’, ‘Sing a Song in Union’ and ‘A Million Dreams’. A video was also played to the hall, showing Cwmaman Primary pupils revealing why they enjoy going to school, and what they aspire to be when they grow up.

There were also speeches illustrating the importance of attendance from the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Christina Leyshon, and the Council’s Director of Education, Gaynor Davies.

The Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow message is being championed by Rhondda Cynon Taf’s very own Super Attender – who is calling on primary pupils to be a super-hero just like him, by going to school every day. Super Attender made a special appearance at the launch event in Cwmaman, and will visit primary schools across the County Borough to pass on his message.

Every primary and secondary school in Rhondda Cynon Taf has also been sent a large banner to put on display, to show their support for new campaign. The Council will use its social media accounts to promote the attendance message,while a wrist band initiative will begin with primary pupils from September 2019. More details about this will be announced in due course.

Councillor Christina Leyshon, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “There was a fantastic turnout for the launch of the Council’s Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow school attendance campaign. I’d like to thank Roy Noble OBE for his support, and for his excellent speech in which the young pupils were so engaged. I’d also like to thank Cwmaman Primary Headteacher Paul Morgan for welcoming us into this fabulous new school building, in order to launch the campaign.

“Improving school attendance continues to be a priority for the Council, and this new campaign, which has support from Cabinet, will help reinforce the importance of this matter to parents and pupils across the County Borough.

“One of the highlights of the assembly was the video of pupils here in Cwmaman, sharing what they want to be when they grow up. The message was clear today from Mr Noble, Mr Morgan. Super Attender and the Council – that our young people can be anything they want to be, and the first stepping stone to achieving their career goal is attending school each day.”    

Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, added: “It was very fitting that the Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow campaign was launched in the fantastic £7.2m Cwmaman Primary School – which opened with state-of-the-art facilities in September. It is a prime example of the brilliant education settings provided by our 21st Century Schools investment with the Welsh Government.

“We want to give more pupils the opportunity to learn in such a stimulating environment as this – and, with more significant investment being made in new school facilities, our attendance message is strengthened even further.

“It is excellent to see such a large response we’ve received from local schools, with many already putting up their school attendance banner provided by the Council, in support of this campaign. I’m looking forward to this campaign evolving over the coming weeks and months, as our message reaches more schools, parents and pupils.”

Speaking to the pupils at Wednesday’s assembly, Roy Noble said: “It’s a real pleasure to be here at this excellent school today. The message is that you can be anything you want to be, and coming to school when you are well enough to do so is at the centre of that.

“You all have something to contribute, something inside you. This school will always stay with you in your mind – when you go on to other schools and when you are in a job in the future. Don’t forget, if you get a disappointment it’s not how you fall, but how you bounce back. I wish you all well.” 

Paul Morgan, Cwmaman Primary School Headteacher, added: “We are delighted that Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has chosen our new 21st Century School to launch its 2019 school attendance campaign, Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow.

“School attendance is something that affects us all. How many adults do you know who often say they wish they had paid more attention in school? Coming to school today can make a huge difference to the rest of your life. Don’t throw that opportunity away. You can be whatever you want to be.”

Posted on Wednesday 13th February 2019

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