It's like that everywhere. Some thoughts: the important thing is to show kids that if you give a detention you will GUARANTEE THAT THEY WILL ATTEND. So - limit the number you issue. This will involve you grinning and bearing it with some kids but think about forming manageable 'target groups' and focus your energies on these. Enlist pastoral/behaviour/other staff (esp those who have them at the end of the day)/parents to get them there. The aim is to develop a reputation for yourself so that they know you will get them in the end. One successful detention is often enough to 'turn' a child, but you have to be remorseless in your efforts. Further thoughts - like all punishments, if you have to keep doing it with a child it it's not working so stop and try something else. Detention is also an opportunity to engage - try having them do some household tasks instead of sitting in silence or whatever. If you have spoken to parents, they will often solve the problem for you.