Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

What Made Truant Josh Get out of Bed Every Morning and Go to School

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

What Made Truant Josh Get out of Bed Every Morning and Go to School

Article excerpt

Byline: By JOANNA DESIRA

EVERY day Josh Lax gets to school on time because he believes his education is key to achieving the success he wants in life.

He is unrecognisable from the teenager last year who found it easier to lie in bed than to get up in the morning to catch the bus to school.

It was the realisation of his mum facing a fine for his lack of attendance that made Josh change his ways.

Now the Newlands FCJ School student is a shining example of a pupil who knows how important it is to attend school everyday.

Middlesbrough Council has launched the Every School Day Matters campaign to improve school attendance across the town and tackle truancy.

The campaign is being supported by the Evening Gazette, Middlesbrough Football Club and Journey South and posters can be found in all Middlesbrough schools.

Josh said he used to find travelling to his school, in Saltersgill difficult because he spent time living between his mum's house in Park End and his dad's in Coulby Newham.

"I didn't like walking to school, it was hard because of where I lived, and I'd have to get two buses in the morning,"

he said.

"Sometimes I would sleep-in and my mum would have to get me a taxi to get me in on time.

"That was not very good because I was wasting her money and she doesn't have much, I preferred not to go to school than get a taxi."

Josh, who is now in Year 10 and can choose what he wants to study, did not enjoy the compulsory subjects he had to take in Year 9.

"Some of the lessons I didn't enjoy, I felt they were boring like French, I didn't want to do it."

When Josh's attendance record fell to only 60% from 85% in the previous two years, he and his mum Alison Tudor, were called in for meetings with school attendance officer Jodie Longstaff.

It was then Josh discovered his mum could face a fine.

"When we had to come here for meetings I found out my mum could get a fine if I never came into school. …

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