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Detention... the first, last and only weapon against students in our school.

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by bigpedro, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    Is it me, or do there need to be more sanctions than gradually inflated/supposedly more severe detentions?

    In our school...
    the first thing to do is issue a detention... this is fine
    if student doesn't attend detention... a further detention will be issued with a head of year/faculty e.t.c.
    If student fails to turn up for this detention... issue a 3rd detention, this time with SLT.
    If student doesn't come to that one, apparently someone rings home... end game.

    To me, all this approach does is create a monster paper trail and a whole host of places where the "system" can break down.
    And the assumption that parents actually give a 5hit that their child has misbehaived is sadly misplaced anyway.

    My question.....
    What sanctions are in place in your schools and how do they vary with the severity of the offence and/or increase when a sanction is ignored.

    Just curious as there has to be a better way.


  2. Sounds familiar to me to.
    Head of Year detention.
    What ought to happen is that the student be withdrawn from lessons and placed at a desk outside the heads office all day, everyday until they do the detention.
  3. Don't forget that to get to a detention you should have gone through lots of behaviour statagies in class to support the student. There are lots of things that you can do that will change behaviour before it gets to a detention. Sometimes the best punishment is 5 mins durring break/lunch.
  4. If my kids don't come to my detentions I personally have to chase them up and escalate the sanctinos myself, doing further detentions and phone calls and after school things because there is no easy system of referring it upwards.
  5. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    well, our system works on paper, but just breaks down. You're right about the extra time it takes to set, chase up and sit with detainees. hardly makes it worth bothering.
  6. what's that if not a detention?!
  7. In my school, SLT never do detentions. Heaven forbid they discipline pupils.
    Pupils always right, teachers always wrong.
  8. Nrrdless to say we are in special measures and they still refuse to 'dirty' their hands with discipline.
  9. I sympathise with Paul here, and I would suggest, ilovesooty, that maybe you should reconsider your objectives. If you feel the need for a "weapon against students", then it sounds like you're fighting the wrong battle. Yes, sometimes an emphasis on praise and rewards and good relationships doesn't always work 100%, and some sort of sanction needs to be used for those who refuse to cooperate fully in that spirit, but the purpose of this should be to provide motivation and enhance learning for all, including the more difficult cases. They are not the "enemy" against whom you should be seeking a "weapon"; going down that road usually just leads to escalation and everybody will lose out, including yourself.

  10. I'm sorry, i should have referred to bigpedro and not ilovesooty in my previous posting.
  11. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    I think you're right that teachers shouldn't feel the need for a 'weapon against pupils', nor see children as the 'enemy'. That would be an unhealthy and unhelpful attitude to take.
    However Bigpedro hasn't mentioned needing weapons on this thread, nor childen being the enemy........
  12. I suggest you read the thread's title, Gary.
  13. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    If we can get back on topic......

    I actually asked for examples of the discipline structure in other schools (because believe it or not, not every child is an angel) As valid as they are, i wasnt really after personal approaches.

    As for the weapons thing. Its a catchy title mate, nothing more.

    May i add that there needs to be a balance between rewarding good behaviour and punishing bad. If you only reward good behaviour, the child must by definition behave badly but get no response. Is it assumed that a nil-response by the teacher should be interpreted by the pupil as bad behaviour??? The argument doesn't add up.
  14. I see, bigpedro. Unfortunately, in a written forum, it's hard to read people's minds and know which bits are just "catchy" and which are the bits they actually mean.
    As for your question about only rewarding good behaviour, I'm wondering which bit of my previous comment, "sometimes an emphasis on praise and rewards and good relationships
    doesn't always work 100%, and some sort of sanction needs to be used for
    those who refuse to cooperate fully in that spirit", you didn't understand?

  15. Same at my school. That's why most colleagues don't even bother. And we can't even give breaktime detentions, because apparently pupils are entitled to their breaktime. Brilliant!
  16. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    Ok, point made. This is in serious danger of becoming one of those frustrating threads which becomes a squabble of oneupmanship between posters and i like to think i'm bigger than that.

    May i ask though (and this isnt another starter for 10) what the sanctions system in your school is?
  17. I am working as supply at the moment and the most common system is something like:
    break detention
    lunch detention/HoD detention + phone call home
    SLT detention

    Also, give each pupil a formal warning (yellow card, name on board...) before punishing. Always explain what the next step will be if he/she does not change his/her behaviour, and what is now expected of them. Warnings work for some students, perhaps even better than sanctions.

    Talking about emphasizing good behaviour, it is important (if not always possible as supply) to establish a system of rewards: stickers, 3 stickers = 1 merit, 10 merits = post-card home, etc.
    Hope it's helpful.
  18. We have the same sanctions as you, Pedro, but we also have afterschool detentions, then finally 'Room 1' where students are internally excluded from lessons and/or lunch and break, depending on the specific nature of their wrongdoing. When excluded from lessons, work is set by their normal class teacher, and students in Room 1 are monitored by staff, sometimes SLT, and sit in silence completing the tasks set for the allotted time. This does work to some extent, but most students will just take the day in room 1 then return to normal school and continue to disrupt.
    Could any sanctions truly result in good behaviour? I doubt it.
  19. This is the way ahead - reward good behaviour more - focus more on this than sanctions and make rewards accessible to all. Some sanctions maybe necessary in a large mainstrean school but make them interactive -not just sat in a room !! Talk to young people, use peer mentors etc
  20. All the posts are depressingly familiar and the school I'm at worked in a similar manner until September last year. That was when they appointed me as the Inclusion Manager. I'm certainly not blowing my own trumpet, but I believe that teachers should be allowed to teach and the behavioural issues burden lightened for them. Plus my background is police/prison officer, that certainly helps!
    We have the, what seems standard, teacher detention (usually at break), the next step is departmental detention (usually at lunchtime) and the last step being after-school detention. However, rather than the teachers having to monitor this and make sure it happens, that is part of what I do. I also run the Inclusion Room where students are sent for part of a day, a full day or even more. Here they work in silence with work provided by their respective subject teachers and the output is monitored. This period in the IR includes breaks, both morning and lunch. The general view of the students is that they do not like it. I also have lots of contact with parents and even do the occasional home visit. That certainly comes as a shock to the students!
    All that means that one person (me) has a pretty good handle on the really quite small minority fo students who have the behaviour issues. This allows the resources, such as they are, to be concentrated where they are needed, rather than sprayed around shotgun-style with much less effect.
    I also do quite a bit of 1-2-1 stuff with identified students and, so far, this seems to be having a beneficial effect in that their behaviour is showing improvement, albeit small improvement in some cases. But some is better than none.
    Behaviour is, I believe and issue in virtually every school and different schools tackle it in different ways. It prevents learning taking place and often stems from a poor or disrupted home life. But then that's the way society has degenerated over the years.

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