Interesting conversation with a colleague. We were talking about the level of freedom that a teacher should have when it comes to handing out sanctions for poor behaviour. He was of the opinion that the classroom teacher needs to have a discretion. I came down quite heavily on the side of - basically none. So if a child breaks a rule, the teacher has no discretion about the consequence, which should be clearly understood before hand and proportionate. Talk when you are not supposed to, that's a demerit. Oh, you were asking for a pen? You understand that you should put your hand up and ask me, otherwise its talking, so yup, that's still a demerit. This separates the teacher from the decision and makes it a simple step of action - consequence, rather than action - negotiation - consequence. Another example - a child has their phone out in a lesson. The schools rule is that if a teacher sees a phone, they confiscate it. The child may give all sorts of reasons for their phone being out, they may never have done it before, but - a rule is a rule. And if rules are not applied consistently, children think they may not be applied at all. Just wondered what other people think?