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Zero tolerance policies towards bad behaviour in schools - good or bad?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by nomad, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Apparently, the growing popularity of “zero tolerance” policies towards bad behaviour in schools is “feeding a mental health crisis” among pupils, according to Jonathan Reddiford, a delegate from North Somerset at the NUT (NEU??) Conference, who said that in some cases, imposing a “zero tolerance” behavioural policy is “nothing short of child abuse”.

    I have to say here that I disagree with him.

    Michael Holland, a teacher form Lambeth in south London, said that “zero tolerance” behaviour policies are “cruel, Victorian, Dickensian”. He added that they “punish working class children the most”, and black and minority ethnic (BME) pupils are more likely to be excluded.

    I disagree with him too.

    Rules are rules. They apply in society beyond school, in the community, in the workplace. Get used to them.
  2. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    I agree with you here....we have too many parents who are not disciplined in thier approah to their children and school rules.
    It is easy to blame rule application to menal disorder, but when i was a boy rule breaking was met with more sever corpral punishment. If you told your parent then you got another smack for being 'naughty'.
    Today, we have this view that rules can be ignored and we should be caring to the kids.Its not caring to let them do just as they wish.Nor is is helpful for the child ,to allow them to grow up with lack of respect of authority and rules.
    Alice K and BelleDuJour like this.
  3. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    O fgs.
  4. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    I bet Michael and Jonathon don't understand why I had problems with my 'difficult' pupils.
    Alice K and nomad like this.
  5. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    I announced a ban on crime in my street once. Rather surprisingly it worked. Quite a disproportionate amount of criminals & hooligans living here at the time. The local burglar and gunman had just been released from jail.

    As an alternative I invited the local hooligans to unicycle instead offering them incentives for their achievements. We would have unicycle gladiators in the play park at the end of the road.

    The biggest surprise was the approval of the local villains. A knock at the door ... I answered ... the local burglar telling me I had left my van unlocked! Another time a local 'hard' man informed me he had had 'a word' with a couple of the lads who were still playing me up a little. The look of fear on the lads faces the next time I saw them! Well we do have a canal a couple of hundred yards away!!

    The local police were quite disinterested in law & order. The criminal fraternity were now doing their job for them.

  6. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    People who are part of the problem...
    Alice K, Pomza and nomad like this.
  7. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I agree with zero-tolerance policies but they have the great weakness that once the few kids reach the top of the pyramid they must be permanently excluded (or shifted out in some other permanent way, managed move or whatever). Not many Heads have the confidence to do this so ZT works best in the over-subscribed schools who have less need for it in the first place.

    Of course, as classes get more over-crowded and teachers less qualified then silent acquiescence becomes the only show in town.
  8. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I'm afraid that this policy has obviously not reached my school!
  9. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Yep... we started off this year being told any child who had 5 behaviour points had to go on stage 1 report. Then it'd escalate.

    That system quickly fell apart because different tutors took different approaches. So you had a kid with 6 point on report but another one on 26 had no action taken. Half of the staff didn't know how to find out how many points their tutees had because we had a new computer program and no-one knew how to use it.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  10. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    There are two main problems with zero tolerance. First, that it doesn't account for exceptional circumstances and doesn't recognise that while a behaviour can be absolutely unacceptable, justice is not always served by issuing the same sanction each time. Secondly, it offers no way back for some children who might be making massive efforts to regulate their behaviour but sometimes still fail.

    The elephant in the room is what we do with pupils who have been excluded.
  11. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    They don't work

    Places that have used them have found this out.

    The evidence is against them, although I can see that they appeal to some teachers, and I understand why.
    monicabilongame and koopatroopa like this.
  12. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I think punishments should be proportionate. They should be related to the context.

    If a child of just 4 is admitted to Reception with no previous experience of being with other children and proceeds to kick and bite? A child who is essentially pre-verbal? I wouldn't want them to be treated as I'd treat Hooray Henry.

    Excluding the one child may give him a short, sharp shock that has a salutary effect.
    Excluding the other means returning him to the home in which he cowers under the table in fear of his abusive parent.

    So I wouldn't tolerate the behaviour but I'd deal with the offenders differently.
  13. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    This has really stuck in my head... how can someone so wilfully equate the two... a teacher expecting kids to be well behaved IS NOT the same as child abuse...

    It minimises child abuse while creating a false portrayal of teaching staff.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
    mothorchid, Alice K and BelleDuJour like this.
  14. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Hang on, Buster!

    Nomad didn't day that!

    Jonathan Reddiford, a delegate from North Somerset at the NUT (NEU??) Conference did.
    racroesus likes this.
  15. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Indeed yes... I don't think you're the one making the comparison...

    I have edited to reflect that.
    nomad likes this.
  16. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Of course, letting disruptive pupils destroy six lessons a day, thereby depriving children who want to learn and a teacher who wants to teach isn't going to have an impact on the mental health of those want to learn kids and teachers...
    catmother, Alice K, strawbs and 3 others like this.
  17. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Ta. :)
  18. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    What! Evidence! Or even.... what evidence?

    Does evidence matter? Isn't the only consideration for a new HT parachuted into a failing school the perpetual question:
    "What would OFSTED be impressed by?"
  19. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    You can like them and agree with them all day long. They don't work
    monicabilongame likes this.
  20. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Yes. And no-one has said that. Repeat: No-one has said that. I suspect the vast majority of us expect our pupils to behave? I do and I presume you, and others on here do too.

    You can expect children to behave without following ridiculous behaviour systems that the evidence shows do not work.
    lizziescat likes this.

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