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Monday, 10 December, 2001, 10:51 GMT
Schools try 'carrot and stick'
Truants
Karrot rewards potential truants to stay at school
Schoolchildren in London are being given a reward card, which they can use to convert "good behaviour" points into football tickets.

The £1m "Karrot" scheme in Southwark, launched on Monday, aims to tackle truancy and crime.

Pupils, aged 11-15, will be issued with the smart cards which will record points that can be redeemed for rewards like tickets to sports matches and theatres as well as books and time in a mobile internet café.

It is hoped the £1.375m scheme will save £1.5m over two years by cutting crime.


It's not about money, it's about fun, it's about making school a fun thing to do

Stephanie Elsy, leader of Southwark Council
The scheme is being launched by senior police officers, including Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens, and is backed by the local authority and a host of companies.

The leader of Southwark Council, Stephanie Elsy, said the project provided incentives for schoolchildren to remain on their best behaviour.

"What we know is that incentives, carrot, works better than stick," she said.

"What we found, when we talked to children, is that often they don't feel valued in terms of their behaviour.

'Not about money'

"This recognises good behaviour and encourages children to carry on behaving well because they have an incentive to do so.

"It's not about money, it's about fun, it's about making school a fun thing to do."

Up to 8,000 pupils will be able to use the cards.

The government has provided £875,000 for the scheme, with another £500,000 from private companies.

More than 50 commercial organisations are involved including London Knights Ice Hockey, London Broncos Rugby League, Bubble Theatre Company, Millwall Football Club, London Towers Basketball and Surrey County Cricket Club.


Click here to go to London
See also:

22 Nov 01 | Education
Truancy rates rise
04 Jun 01 | Education
Text messages in war against truancy
26 Mar 01 | Education
E-registering drive to beat truancy
03 Jan 01 | Education
War on truancy continues
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