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Regular School detention system - good idea or not?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by thegreatbonzo, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. I'm on a committee considering introducing a new detention system that would see a 30 minute daily centrally run school detention into which any teacher could send a pupil. The idea is that this would make detentions more consistently managed and better recorded. At the moment teachers run their own detentions individually. This ties up a lot of teachers, many pupils get away with non attendance and there is a wide variance in the pupils' experience. Does anyone work in a school which runs a system like this? Does it work? Any other opinions either way? Be very grateful for your ideas! The school is a large North London Comp with a fair few behaviour issues... Thanks Bonzo
  2. DM

    DM New commenter

    You need to make it one hour. Accept no excuses for non attendance. Any pupil who fails to attend a detention is guaranteed an additional punishment on top of the rescheduled detention. Enforce complete silence during the detention or the pupil fails that detention and has to face an additional punishment plus serve the detention again the following day. Do not allow the students to do their homework or anything meaningful during the detention - they should just sit there in complete silence for the full hour. Remove any clocks. Make sure there is a permanent presence of SLT plus a handful of teachers each day on a rota. Ask classroom teachers to escort students to the detention at the end of the day so they are not tempted to do a runner.
  3. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    I can't imagine not having a centralised detention system, at least in part.
  4. Can you give an hours detention without giving 24 hours notice to the parents/guardians? But I think DMs ideas sound very good. Beats the stupid whole class detentions that serve no purpose!
  5. Can you do any after school detentions without 24 hrs notice? Lots of kids I know have transport issues, and if they miss buses or trains there may not even be another one. So after school detention means parents need to arrange alternative transport. But you can do lunch time 20 min, 1/2 hour ones, especially for uniform and non-completed homework, or low level disruption in class. I guess it all depends on what detentions are used for in your school.
  6. maggie m

    maggie m Lead commenter

    I have worked in a school with a system like the one DM describes. It caused lots of parental complaints for the first few weeks but the Head and SMT stood firm and we all noticed a marked drop in poor behaviour from those students who were sheep rather than the ring leaders of bad behaviour.
    I wish the head in my current school had the guts to do this. I am sick of pusuing the same characters for detentions they don't attend and getting little back up from SMT
  7. LittleStreams

    LittleStreams New commenter

    When I was in school, we had whole school detentions - run by SLT.
    During some experience in a school, I noticed that the detentions were run by teachers, so some teachers just didn't give detentions because it was more trouble than it was worth.
    So I am all for having a centralised detention system.
  8. detention ? if have to suppose. centralised ? if it blows your skirt. unproductive? heck no- make them do something productive.
  9. Hi Maggie - Thanks - what happened to the ring leaders?
    Also, was the school similar to the one I describe (urban 1300 mixed North London Comp)?
  10. Sorry - I meant to say thanks to everyone who posted!
    2 further issues:
    1) Do strictly run centralised detentions genuinely help teachers who find behaviour management a problem? Has anyone seen this happen.
    2) Is there a danger that, by separating the sanction from the teacher, students lose even more respect for poor behaviour managers?
    Happy Hols
  11. I would love a central system. When a teacher gives a detention, they are in detention too. So who is being punished?
  12. We have a centralised system and it works well. For any type of after-school detention, HoDs e-mail the office (teachers tell the HoDs so HoDs have an overview of what is being set and why) and the office schedule them in and send letters home. It stops pupils saying they're double booked, parents get the information by post, and the detention is logged on Sims as well. If they don't turn up to a subject detention, the pupils are forwarded to a school detention which is an hour and supervised by SLT, HoDs and HoYs. If they don't turn up to that they are either included or excluded and do an hour's detention on top. The office keep HoYs informed so if certain pupils are booked up, detentions can be wiped out with a higher sanction - either a longer detention, inclusion or exclusion. The only down side is there is a gap between setting the detention and the detention happening - however we have arrangements with lots of the repeat offenders that we can keep their little darlings after school as long as we phone home during the day. For school detentions, messages are sent round period 5 and the teachers escort the pupils on the list to the detention.
    Having worked with a normal system, I do prefer the centralised one, as I find it easier to chase pupils up, when you only see pupils once a week it can be very difficult to chase up pupils who don't attend break/lunch detentions and simply sending one e-mail solves a lot of hassle.
  13. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    We have a central system. 24 hours notice for after school detentions. Lunchtime detentions are for minor offenses.

    SMT come round school 10 minutes before the end of the day and round up the kids and escort them to the hall. Any kid who says they can't do it because their mom doesn't know finds that one of the SMT has all their phone numbers handy and rings a parent to tell them that they will be late home! No excuses!
  14. I'm only a PGCE student, but I had a placement school with a centralised system. I think it worked well and it really helped me when I learning the ropes of behaviour management, especially as it was support by a clear and well defined set of classroom rules that the pupils were familiar with. I think overall it helped ensure the behaviour policy was used more consistently (as teachers were not put off giving detentions), which helped improve pupil behaviour.
  15. It depends what you mean by this. We all need to do our best to manage behaviour - to plan lessons effectively, engage students and so on, but some students resist this and purposely engage in disruptive behaviour.
    I have worked in a school where there was a centralised system which is very helpful for someone like me who works part-time and therefore only has a couple of nights available to do detention on (if there isn't a meeting). It worked well to a point. The same characters ended up in detention week in week out and there wasn't sufficient follow-up for these few. This is something that needs to be thought about beforehand.
    There also needs to be clear guidance on what detentions can be set for and clear procedures.
    I think that actually it reinforces the idea that all staff will be supported by the school. It is dangerous to start judging some as poor behaviour managers. (I hate it when some teachers say, "Oh X is never a problem for me..") It shouldn't be an automatic after-school anyway - it should be a stepped response starting with a break/lunch detention - depends on the policy set.
    My current school doesn't have this sort of system and it is a nightmare chasing kids to do detention.
  16. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    All three of the schools in which I worked have had identical "centralised" systems. Hour-long detentions after school on a Friday, supervised by the SMT. A detention slip has to be signed and returned by the parent, and a list of those in detention is read-out to everyone in assembly on Friday morning.
    Those in detention for poor work are required to repeat and improve their work during the hour, while those detained for bad behaviour are divided into supervised groups and given tasks such as litter picking and graffiti removal. Failure to attend results in detention for two consecutive Fridays. More than that, and exclusion is likely to result.
    I didn't realise that such a system was not universal.
  17. Helena Handbasket

    Helena Handbasket New commenter

    When I was at school it was centralised detention for 45 minutes on a Friday after school. (not that I ever had to attend one as I was such a goody two shoes.)
    In the school I work at we all run our own and it does have failings. For one, if you put a child in and they have already been given a detention elsewhere the system sees them twice and gives them none. I think a centralised system is much better as SLT can see who the repeat offenders really are. In my current school it takes 3 stages before they even see SLT with regards to detention.

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