Schools Training

What is the worst kind of punishment for school pupils?

11 FEB 2014

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Misbehaving school pupils should be made to do lines, write essays, run around a playing field or pick up litter, according to guidance issued by the Department for Education last week. It prompted athlete Brendan Foster to complain the education secretary was “demonising” running.

Helen Anthony, headteacher, Fortismere school in London

When I was a child, my school did make you do lines and litter picking, but neither of these sanctions work because, actually, they’re quite enjoyable. Sitting in silence doing nothing in detention is one of the worst sanctions. It’s really boring. Even worse is being in isolation: for teenagers, their social time is very important.

Rachel Orr, headteacher, Holy Trinity Rosehill VA CE primary school in Stockton-on-Tees

I went to school in the days when the cane was around. I never got it, but I was smacked twice when I was six or seven. I don’t know how much the fear of the cane affected me. It was just accepted that if you did something really bad then that was what would happen. But it wasn’t necessarily the fear of consequences that stopped you from misbehaving, it was your family background and the values you’d been raised with.

Tim Browse, headteacher, Hillcrest primary school in Bristol

As a head, it always surprises me when teachers tell me how terrified students are of being sent to see me. When giving out sanctions, you have to think about what you’re trying to achieve. Some children recently hadn’t done their best in a piece of writing. I said to them: I’m not going to make you, but I am giving you the opportunity to show us you can do something better. Two out of five gave up their lunchtime to improve their writing, which meant the teacher had something positive to celebrate.


Read full article: The Guardian