School attendance improves after McDonald’s ban

Attendance levels have improved since a ban was introduced on pupils in Kent visiting a nearby McDonald’s throughout the school day, its principal said.

Students at the Folkestone Academy are prohibited from entering the local fast food restaurant between the hours of 8.30am and 5pm.

Acting principal Louise McGowan said McDonald’s has been supportive of her efforts to cut truancy rates among its p

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upils, aged from 11 to 19, by agreeing to refuse to serve pupils dressed in uniform.

Ms McGowan said since the ban was introduced in April, levels of attendance have improved at the 1,000-pupil academy, which is sponsored by former Saga chairman Roger De Haan and Kings School, Canterbury.

She said: “It is having a positive effect on children and their learning. Attendance is the hot issue nationally and schools see this as a measure we have to take to keep children where they are supposed to be.

“Our community partners have been really supportive of this. McDonald’s is a profit-making organisation at the end of the day but they have put the common good of the children first.”

Local McDonald’s franchisee Chris Symons said: “As a responsible member of the community, I have been liaising with the community officer at the Folkestone Academy over school attendance issues.

“As a result, I have agreed that students from the academy will not be served at the nearby drive- thru restaurant between the hours of 8.30am and 5pm on a school day.

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