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Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by c_hopkins2, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. Hello teachers
    I am a student teacher and I am wanting to write an assignment on the effectiveness of isolation

    I'm interested to hear about what that means at your school - when it's used - does it work - are you a fan - any anecdotal evidence or stories.

    Its new to me and I'm investigating how my placement school use it but a wider view would be helpful

    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
  2. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    Regards the effectiveness of isolation: One poorly behaved student on their own is isolation. An isolation room full of students is a youth club. Hope this helps.
  3. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    This is an interesting topic to investigate. Do share your conclusions with us when you can.

    Overall, I am personally in favour of isolation as an option. Despite the issues associated with its implementation and effectiveness, I do think it needs to be there as a possibility in schools in some form. I have worked in a school with no facility for it at all and found I missed it.

    The key considerations in my opinion are:

    1. Stepped approach with isolation as a consequence of a student failing to respond to other sanctions. These procedures need to be clear and consistent across the school to avoid a student being excluded from a particular subject long term or a "difficult character" being sent straight to isolation without fair procedure.

    2. Careful consideration of the environment.
    I agree with @lovejoy_antiques that simply putting a load of kids from different classes into a separate room isn't isolation. Where I have seen the system work, there has been a well equipped room set up specifically for the purpose of isolated work with separate cubicles and authoritative supervision. This means students work in absolute silence for the duration of their stay. It goes terribly wrong when they are allowed to chat with other members of staff who sympathise with them and undermine the teacher.

    3. Clear rules about provision of work.
    Often as a teacher, I receive a note via a student asking for work to be sent immediately for a student who is in isolation. I haven't been given prior warning and i'm in the middle of teaching the lesson that student is missing. This clearly doesn't work. It's much more effective for the isolation room to have pre-prepared work for a range of subjects. This work also needs to be marked within the isolation room, not sent back to the class teacher where it is easily lost/overlooked and therefore the message the student receives is that the work they complete in isolation is irrelevant, Work done in isolation needs to be marked in the presence of the student at the time and the isolation time is only "passed" when sufficient effort has been made.

    4. Consideration of time spent.
    I've seen the most effective isolation work when students have to also lose their social time. Isolation doesn't mean missing the lesson you don't like anyway. It needs to also cover break/lunch and lead into an after school detention. Any restorative justice measures like meeting with the teacher/parent to agree a return to class needs to be done after school and taken seriously. It should not be an opportunity to complain to someone else about the teacher/subject the student doesn't like.

    5. Repeat offenders
    We all see the same kids in isolation time and time again. Obviously we need to question its effectiveness if this is true. Unfortunately though, I still think that for the benefit of the whole class, it does sometimes need to be an option. It needs to be unpleasant enough that it acts as a deterrent for the majority and then alternative plans need to be made within subjects or at a higher level for those returning to isolation.

    I hope this helps. I'd be interested in other opinions on this.

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