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Would anyone mind giving me their opinion on detention in secondary school please for my Teaching Assistant course

(82 Posts)
LittleMisslikestobebythesea Fri 08-Aug-14 14:31:07

Don't know if I am allowed to ask, apologies if not, sorry MNHQ blush I am a regular poster.

I am doing my assignments for my teaching assistant level 3 course, and one of them is about secondary school and people's thoughts on detention.

As both my children and my friends children are in primary, while I have opinions on it, it would obviously be useful to have opinions from parents with older children.

If I am not allowed to post/need to post elsewhere let me know and I will report myself! grin

Thank you for your help smile

Rooners Fri 08-Aug-14 14:37:14

Oh I don't know if I can comment really either, as my eldest starts secondary in Sept however I really struggle with this aspect of secondary.

I hate any sort of punishment that is not useful, eg if a child leaves his favourite shoes in the garden and they get rained on, I don't punish him because he already can't wear them till they are dry. Or if they all piss me off mightily when we're meant to be going out somewhere, I might end up not taking them and it wouldn't be a punishment, it would just be because I'd be too stressed.

So I hate the idea of actual punishment. We went to take in some application forms to one of the schools we were considering last Autumn, and it was around 4.30pm and there were a couple of desolate looking kids who were maybe Y8 or 9, walking around the grounds picking up litter.

If I am honest I got back in the car and said to ds 'you're not coming here'. I don't care what they did. A child that age should be at home where they belong, not doing unpaid work.

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 14:39:44

why on earth do you have to do this? In most schools you wouldn't even be giving detentions as a TA.

Like most punishments they don't work but people like to see them happening and they are less hassle than a meaningful punishment

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 14:41:18

the best ones ( most effective) are when the kids just sit there. Kids hate being bored.

Kids LOVE detentions where they get to do stuff and so are utterly irate by their time being wasted. So that, sadly, is far more effective than a rehabilitative one.

HOWEVER a rehabilitative one would be GOOD but wouldn't be seen by them as a punishment. iykwim

SweepTheHalls Fri 08-Aug-14 14:41:48

They are a useful consequence as part of a structured and tiered behaviour management system provided there is parental support, as with all consequences.

My opinion depends on what it is a punishment for, and therefore what it is trying to achieve. I don't generaly like punishments that don't have an obvious and direct relationship to the offence.

So - maybe for messing about in class and disrupting people, ie wasting other people's time, it makes some sense to waste their time as a response, to give them some concept of how annoying it is. Though when I describe it that way, I admit it sounds pretty petty!

For dropping litter - an hour or so spent picking up litter in detention time is fair.

But when it is just "You did something we don't like so we're going to do something you won't like" just gives a feeling of "And we're bigger and in charge so tough" which isn't what most children/teens actually need to help them change their ways.

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 14:43:20

the thing is that arranging useful ones just takes even MORE time of the teacher concerned and often after school we just want to get some marking done while the kid sits there in silence.

SweepTheHalls Fri 08-Aug-14 14:43:54

Rooners, you have I idea what those children had done wrong to get their punishment, perhaps your child is an angel, or are you a parent that does not support your child's school? Do you not think poor behaviour should result in a consequence in a large community?

The only thing my DS's have recieved detentions for at school is not completed homework, and they have to do the missed homework at the time. They don't like it, and have therefore started handing homework in on time,but they do understand the reason for it, and were both resigned, and accepting it was their own fault on the separate occasions they have had to do it.

Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

PenelopePitstops Fri 08-Aug-14 14:46:48

Most detentions in my school are given out for exactly those reasons amum. Kids waster my time, I waste theirs.

What would a meaningful punishment be for a pupil that swears at a teacher? A pupil wearing incorrect uniform? A pupil not doing homework regularly?
These are tricky to punish.

After a, prison bears no relationship to most offences, why bother with them?!

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 14:48:14

they do need to be reserved for the most serious offences though, or some level of time ( or even lunchtime ones) for minor ones,

I almost hit the roof when my son got an afterschool for simply charging his phone in the class at lunchtime, he did it, but I did phone and ask them what punishment they reserved for more serious offences and that he was that close to not attending ! grin

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 14:49:08

Penelope = in the criminal courts punishments are VERY much tailored to the offence committed and remember most punishments are not prison! I kind of have an overlap into both worlds here!

Applefallingfromthetree2 Fri 08-Aug-14 14:51:37

The most useful thing about detentions is the fear of the shame of them. Therefore they work best as a deterrent to conscientious, well behaved kids, who would be devastated to get one. Once you get one that fear is gone and they become merely boring and one thing to be got through-usually badly-so for the kids that are aimed at they serve no useful purpose.

Much better to get them picking up litter or cleaning the school.

AnimalsAreMyFriends Fri 08-Aug-14 14:51:43

I don't have problems with my ds being in detention (well I do - but only from a "what the heck has he done now?" angle) What I do have a problem with is "blanket / mass detentions" whereby a whole class or tutor group are detained because of the misdemeanours of a troublesome minority.

My ds has ASD and is frequently in trouble for voicing his somewhat alternative/ forthright views, but he is beginning to accept that other people not see things quite the way he does and if he is in the wrong he will take his punishment with fairly good grace.

However detention of the whole class because of a small group of badly behaved pupils leaves him incandescent. (I know the thinking is that the well behaved ones will put pressure on the naughty ones / good ones lead by example - but I think that my child has enough trouble moderating his own behaviour and shouldn't be responsible for the behaviour of his peers!)

PenelopePitstops Fri 08-Aug-14 14:52:50

Some punishments are related, yes, but not many. How does committing fraud have anything to do with a prison sentence? Same for driving offences. I could go on.

Like fines, why bother with those either?

I agree detentions should be for more serious offences but they need to be there. What else do you suggest?

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 14:56:44

when you consider a punishment, you assess seriousness, harm and culpability. there is also a sliding scale of intention that you look at.
For some cases there is no point of prison, in some you might curfew for this reason, or suspend a sentence with an alcohol treatment order.
For some people ( who might never reoffend) a fine will really affect them and their lifestyle, plus there is no reason to involve probabtion, or they have no addictions to look at.

So there is a HUGE link. Sentencing is a really skilled art and not just thinking something up and passing it. I know of people who have had EMORMOUS rows when deliberating sentences.

hesterton Fri 08-Aug-14 14:57:57

Charging his phone in class in my school would bring the wrath of the heavens down on him. School power bills are for school equipment.

The students you might be supporting in school may respond well to very short 'metaphorical' detentions.

You state a behaviour is not acceptable and why.

Next time, you give a warning. 'If you carry on (the behaviour) you are choosing a ten second detention.'

They may laugh at the shortness of it but if they have earnt it, youbask them to stay at the end of the lesson to serve it then and there. If they refuse you point out that it isbsurely better to stay for ten seconds than have all the follow up procedures related to missing a detention. They usually stay. You then thank them for staying and state that you're looking forward to seeing them next lesson with a fresh slate.

You have won the metaphotical victory and it is amazing how sheepish and pleased in a weird way they are for getting the praise and clean slate for staying. You are building a good relationship with the student based on them complying.

Sounds a bit mad but it can be very effective, especially for low level disruption of those with additional difficulties.

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 14:59:18

( obv emormous is WAY bigger than enormous!) blush

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 15:00:06

HEsterton, my point was that it wasn't worthy of the second highest form of punishment. IMO
i let my kids charge whenever they want - doesn't bother me

hesterton Fri 08-Aug-14 15:00:39

Oh and doable by a TA as well.

But never, ever give whole class detentions. You will always leave some students resentful of having behaved but got punished anyway.

maddy68 Fri 08-Aug-14 15:01:07

It's a good deterrent however I think it should be immediate for it to be most beneficial. So it's good to have parents on board that you can give detentions without 24 hrs notice otherwise it hangs over the next lesson and can cause bad feeling

hesterton Fri 08-Aug-14 15:02:08

Pitt I was just stating how my school view it. The head is very tight on certain things and that's one for some reason.

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 15:02:26

our TAs have got a big issue about being used for behavioural issues. Rather than learning.
I don't know where I stand here, I dont like a TA doing behaviour stuff in my room but I don't see why if they did see something that was bad - out and about for eg they cant deal with behaviour.

Its a distinction that i just am unsure about.

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 15:02:43

hersterton ah I see. A quirk!

TheFairyCaravan Fri 08-Aug-14 15:02:52

My kids got through the whole of their school lives without ever getting an individual or after-school detention, so I'm possibly not the right person to comment.

I hate class detentions, innocent kids end up being punished for things they didn't do or had no part of.

I do think detentions have a place. I think they should be as boring as they possibly can be in the hope that it might serve as a detergent for the child not to get one again.

maddy68 Fri 08-Aug-14 15:04:01

Also re the previous poster and phone charging. It's not just the power bill it's the fact that everything that plugs into the electric has to be pat tested by law. It is breaching the h&s policy's and if ofsted saw that it would be an immediate unsatisfactory

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 15:05:50

yeah yeah but they could have just said " oi don't do that again" ( and they hadn't) - tis like what Hesterton said - there needs to be some escalation.

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 15:06:51

It really links to rl sentencing - say you were in a low level theft - you would probably get a caution and accept guilt, not ten years in prison. grin

AnimalsAreMyFriends Fri 08-Aug-14 15:10:04

My ds got a detention for being gobby in class. The teacher kept him behind after school.

He was was due to go straight from school to roller hockey training (a LOT of very bulky padding & kit - he can fit himself in the bag it comes in!)
She saw the kit bag & asked what it was. His detention then evolved - she made him change into the kit & and then made him do a dance for other staff in the department.

Initially I was outraged at the perceived humiliation aspect - but actually - ds & the teacher have a much more respectful relationship following this - he sees that she is human with a sense of humour & actually detentions are a drag for her too. He has behaved impeccably for her since.

thatsn0tmyname Fri 08-Aug-14 15:10:39

Most secondary teachers have 240 pupils plus 30 in a form to keep track of. That's a heck of a lot of homework, uniform, behaviour, punctuality issues to keep track of. Detentions aren't ideal and can create further admin and hassle for non attendees. Teachers are damned if they do and damned if they don't. As for 'only charging a mobile in the lunch hour' what a bloody cheek! Sodding things should be in lockers not top pockets. If 1300 pupils and 100 staff did that the school's electricity bill would be astronomical and a serious fire risk would result. Whilst I'm on my soap box parents fight to send their children to good school's which are good for a reason-everyone does as they are told, including parents. If a detention is set, suck it up

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 15:11:01

a dance? Are you sure? very odd and wrong

thatsn0tmyname Fri 08-Aug-14 15:11:24

Most secondary teachers have 240 pupils plus 30 in a form to keep track of. That's a heck of a lot of homework, uniform, behaviour, punctuality issues to keep track of. Detentions aren't ideal and can create further admin and hassle for non attendees. Teachers are damned if they do and damned if they don't. As for 'only charging a mobile in the lunch hour' what a bloody cheek! Sodding things should be in lockers not top pockets. If 1300 pupils and 100 staff did that the school's electricity bill would be astronomical and a serious fire risk would result. Whilst I'm on my soap box parents fight to send their children to good school's which are good for a reason-everyone does as they are told, including parents. If a detention is set, suck it up

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 15:13:04

but they don't do it, so that is a silly argument. Thats the kind of teacher mentality " well if we all did that" that just makes me twitch.

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 15:13:46

i let kids use phones in the class - they google stuff and take photos of learning

You would have kittens! wink grin

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 15:16:51

PLus charging phones costs alarmingly little

Look at this

Maryz Fri 08-Aug-14 15:19:00

My kids get to do lunchtime duty, which they hate as they have to clear and put away all the trays, as well as being the last to eat.

They also do duty detentions, like moving tables, cleaning changing rooms, that type of thing.

I don't mind detentions for things like rudeness, deliberate bad behaviour or persistent refusal to do work (for example, not doing homework, as long as it's properly recorded by the teacher not just a random "today I'm going to lose my rag and give it to all of you, even though some of you have done pretty much all of it, and some of you haven't done any homework since September" - that drives me nuts).

I do mind it being used as a punishment for something a child can't help, for example punishing a child with ADHD for not sitting still, or punishing a child who is dependent on a bus for being late.

Threatening my son (who has ADHD) with detention just makes him twitchier and more annoying. If the teachers would just let him leave the classroom and jump up and down for 2 minutes they wouldn't need to give threaten [sigh]

Having said that, the only after-school detention he has ever had was for "forgetting" to go to a minor detention, and he deserved that.

If a school uses detention they must enforce it. They can't give it to a load of kids, but let some of them just not turn up, that undermines the entire thing.

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 15:19:39

lunch duty a good one - as is scraping chewing gum off the bottom or desks ( both need supervision though)

lazee Fri 08-Aug-14 15:20:49

Hi LittleMiss, I am a TA in secondary( SEN). I have done the level 3 course and didn't come across this question. Please feel free to PM me as I can help you.

Maryz Fri 08-Aug-14 15:21:30

Yes, chewing gum, that's what ds spent his one and only long detention doing grin

He did spend one lunchtime and a free class cleaning the changing rooms, that was also good (and a punishment for chucking stuff around in there).

startwig1982 Fri 08-Aug-14 15:22:19

I give detentions for disruption and lack of homework. The detentions always consist of the pupil catching up on the work they should have done in class or at home. Makes sense to me!

hesterton Fri 08-Aug-14 15:22:29

I agree Pitt.

Another thing phones are great for is accessing translation tools and information on a topic in home language for recent arrivals.

If all schools were able to provide access to an ipad for all students it would be good, but they can't. But most students have phones.

Hard to police their use though (and abuse) and also frowned upon to go against school policy. It confuses those who need strong, clear boundaries, so generally I think teachers should go with whatever is the school rules in all things including behaviour policy and detention.

The senior school my DDs attend/attended give lunchtime detentions (no contact with parents necessary) and after school detentions (parents notified as this has an impact on school transport)

DD1 had two detentions in her 7 years at seniors school. Both at lunchtime. One whole class one - sitting doing nothing for 30 minutes. The other was given for chewing gum in a science lesson and she was asked to scrape gum (with a wallpaper scraper) from under the chairs and benches in the science labs for 15 minutes. A fitting punishment - not humiliating in my opinion and a good lesson learnt.

DD2 has just finished Year 10 and has had one whole class lunchtime detention.

The range of punitive measures available to a school has changed (for the better) since I was at school.

Maryz Fri 08-Aug-14 15:27:18

Ours get phones confiscated until the end of the day if they are seen by a teacher.

A second offence means they are confiscated until the end of the week.

Parents go ape-shit - how on earth are their little darlings going to be safe on the way home? But it's made clear at the start of the year, and the kids seem to accept it.

I actually think in most cases the main threat to discipline in schools isn't the kids, it's the parents. ds has one boy in his class who is not allowed (by his parents) to do any detentions. He is unsurprisingly, the biggest bully in the year hmm

lazee Fri 08-Aug-14 15:28:47

The OP asked a reasonable question that some folk have turned into an argument about their precious kids!
Jeez, start another thread.

Ohwhatfuckeryisthis Fri 08-Aug-14 15:34:59

Whatever your individual feeling about detention, the school will have a behaviour policy. It doesn't matter if you see others not adhering to it, or the kids saying "x lets us do that'" follow the policy, make sure you do the proper documentation (our school-explicit verbal warning. Written warning. Detention at the start of lunch.) We have a dearth of TAs, but they are able to issue sanctions just as much as teachers. (Teachers only staff detention and isolation). Whole class detentions are unfair. If the majority are misbehaving and require sanctions, then just write them up.
We have a list of reasons for sanctions-most come down to disturbing the learning of others. penelope persistent uniform infringements and homework avoidance would get detention. Swearing-depends-usually ISO.
I agree it should be boring-giving them nice little jobs could be seen by some as being rewarded.("nice" kids might actually want to do them)

Maryz Fri 08-Aug-14 15:36:32

I thought we were all just commenting on what we thought of detention and what does and doesn't work.

Isn't that what she wanted us to do?

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 15:36:56

oh i FORGOT you are not allowed to deviate hmm

ElephantsNeverForgive Fri 08-Aug-14 15:39:45

Four problems
1) generally well behaved DC hate the doing nothing sort of detentions and have no respect for teachers who give them out
2) badly behaved DCs don't give a fuck about doing nothing, that's what they do every lesson anyway.
3) some teachers dole out far to many detentions and other teachers don't give out any.
4) in a rural area with no public transport, you are likely to get a very negative response from parents for after school detentions.

DDs have never had one (DD1 actually managed Y7-11 without a single official detention. No idea how, she is no angel), but I'd play merry hell at having to fetch them unless they had done something serious enough to merit it).

DD2 has managed 10 detentions in 2years, 7 from the same teacher, if he gave her an after school she would not be going. He simply cannot motivate or keep in order a perfectly pleasant if chatty set 1.

The other 3 were forgetting HW and games kit and perfectly reasonable, DD2

offtoseethewizard64 Fri 08-Aug-14 15:40:36

I have mixed feelings about detentions tbh and I say that as a parent of a child who has had quite a few - both at lunchtime and after school.
DS goes to a school where 70% of the pupils have to travel in by a school bus (rural area) so to give them an after school detention means missing the only means of transport home, resulting in parents having to go and collect them. I often felt that the detention was more of an imposition on me than on DS (who incidentally has ASD and is statemented, so a lot of his detentions were for incidents linked to his ASD).
I also don't think lunchtime detentions were that good for him either, as there was little enough time to get something to eat and go to the loo in a normal lunchbreak, never mind the 10 minutes they were allowed if they were in detention. He also needed that break to let off steam and chill before the afternoon sessions, so to me, putting him in detention at lunch was counter productive and I'm sure this would apply to many others too.

ElephantsNeverForgive Fri 08-Aug-14 15:41:47

DD2 is totally capable of being organised, she just sometimes doesn't bother.

lazee Fri 08-Aug-14 18:09:52

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Maryz Fri 08-Aug-14 18:12:07

Pot - kettle - black

Only on Mumsnet grin

lazee Fri 08-Aug-14 18:21:36

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

smokepole Fri 08-Aug-14 18:25:13

Surely a 'Detention' should benefit the child academically, there is no point making a student 'Turn Screws' like a 1850 victorian prisoner.

DD2 has had three after school detentions though out her 4 years at senior school all for missing homework. The three times she did not understand, or was 'to tired' to do the homework yet when she the homework was explained and she was made to redo it after school, she got A grade for the homework three times. This is a positive use of detention and the pupil gets some benefit out of it . Detention should never be used for retribution or other meaningless reasons.

0pheliaBalls Fri 08-Aug-14 18:26:49

Only detention DD ever got was when she failed to complete homework. It was set via the internet and at the time, we had yet to have the internet at home, something which I had made clear to all her teachers via a note in her homework planner. She used to go into school at 7.30am some days to get work done and walked the three mile round trip to the library in blizzards to use her daily two hour internet access to complete stuff. However this homework was set last lesson to be completed for next day, and when she went to the library, the computers were down so not only was her three mile walk in torrential rain pointless, she knew she would be in trouble too. We have no friends/family whose computer she could use. She didn't sleep that night she was so worried. Sure enough, next day she was given her first detention, aged 16. I told the school she would not be attending. I made it clear that she would not be punished because we were on a low income, which is what the detention amounted to.

A year or so before, a girl who had made DD's life hell for years had been punished for hitting DD (the latest in a long line of bullying incidents) with a detention. So DD's punishment for being unable to do her homework through no fault of her own was the same as for physical assault.

Detention can be useful, I think, but there has to be some common sense applied. The punishment should fit the 'crime'.

ThatsNotWhatISaid Fri 08-Aug-14 18:27:21

I don't mind detentions as long as they are directed at the culprits. Whole class detentions are awful and unfair. The idea that the 'naughty' kids will respond to peer pressure when there is a threat of a whole class detention is ridiculous.

Maryz Fri 08-Aug-14 18:27:24


I wasn't commenting on your offer to pm. I thought that was nice; it was your insistence that the thread is being derailed and calling posters' children precious that I thought was odd.

This is a thread about detentions, offering opinions on detentions, which is what the op wanted, isn't it?

scaevola Fri 08-Aug-14 18:28:36

Detentions should never be considered alone - they are utterly useless unless part of a wider discipline policy (which covers both reward and sanction).

OP: is the question really asking only about detention, not appropriate discipline policy for teenagers?

Maryz Fri 08-Aug-14 18:28:39

I shall refrain from saying "Back at you" because you sound a bit unreasonably cross.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Fri 08-Aug-14 18:33:58

I love the dancing in his kit detention!

I tend to keep kids back for a very short amount of time, just to inconvenience them and to prove the point that I am the boss. Often if they are kicking off, saying they won't stay back, I keep them for three minutes - gives everyone else time to leave so they are just behind their mates.

lazee Fri 08-Aug-14 19:04:50

Knuckles rapped,, sorry if I offended anyone. I know how bloody hard it can be to be a damn good TA. I studied hard and I love my job.
Sorry again.

Maryz Fri 08-Aug-14 19:09:29

Don't worry about it lazee smile

I think threads do derail a bit as they morph into discussions rather than question and answer sessions, but that doesn't stop them being valuable to the op. She can trawl through it and take helpful bits and ignore the rest.

I like the idea of dancing in goalie kit too.

lazee Fri 08-Aug-14 19:25:43

Thanks Maryz. Time for bed here. smile

LittleMisslikestobebythesea Fri 08-Aug-14 20:03:34

Thank you for all your replies, I appreciate them.

And I don't mind the thread derailing as any information is useful!

It is asked as part of a question about behaviour policies and specifically mentions detentions and asked to gain opinion from others to give a wider opinion I guess.

I knew I would get a wide variety of opinions on here grin

Thanks again thanks

Wolfiefan Fri 08-Aug-14 20:11:40

I don't believe whole class detentions are fair or useful.
Detentions for HW not done can be a chance for HW to be done but shouldn't necessarily be the first and only consequence. I also think schools need to be a bit flexible eg family member in hospital or needing to use a computer etc.
Detentions for behaviour can only be part of a strategy. Far too often the same kids end up in DT again and again and couldn't care less.
(Secondary teacher and Y6 parent.)

PittTheYounger Fri 08-Aug-14 20:12:52

Our place has a ban on whole class ones

I would suggest you contact your Head about their policy on this.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Fri 08-Aug-14 20:35:37

My school never used detentions. Punishments were being told off, or having to explain to the teacher (escalated to form teacher/head of year if necessary) about the misbehaviour.

Occasionally somebody would be sent to stand outside the door or maybe work in the next room (all the depts had classrooms together, so the teacher would ask their colleague teaching in there to keep an eye on them). That was for constant disruption. I think the worst punishment was to be put 'on report' - you had a sheet that had to be signed by the teacher after every lesson saying if behaviour had been satisfactory.

But detentions never happened. I think the teachers preferred to deal with behaviour as it occurred rather then putting it off and having to man a detention later on! But because nobody gave detentions it just wasn't in the school's culture. I think we all behaved well. Being told why you'd upset/disappointed the teacher I think is worse than sitting around for half an hour.

Interestingly, there was a new head who gave a detention (not for something huge, uniform related maybe? It was a long time ago!). It caused a lot of trouble - the teachers didn't agree with it at all, and I don't think anyone was prepared to run a 'session'.

Rooners Sat 09-Aug-14 09:18:48

Oh sorry someone replied to my post way back...

'Rooners, you have I idea what those children had done wrong to get their punishment, perhaps your child is an angel, or are you a parent that does not support your child's school? Do you not think poor behaviour should result in a consequence in a large community?', I have no idea what they had done. I don't really care tbh - picking up everyone's litter isn't likely to sort it out imo. If the child did something undesirable then it needs to be explained to them, discussed, etc etc. I suspect the school just uses this system as a substitute for something more effective and less humiliating, as was often the case when I was at school, though my school was better.

Not sure what my own child's behaviour has to do with this. Or my supportive status in regard to my child's school(s).

Obviously poor behaviour has consequences - it often has natural consequences but when it doesn't particularly, I'm not certain that contrived ones are essential.

I hate the word 'punishment' in this context, as though a punishment is likely to sort out a behaviour. Prisons are for my money more of a security thing, ie people are kept there for a time in order to protect the rest of society from a perceived risk.

What takes place within the prison is another matter entirely.

Rooners Sat 09-Aug-14 09:23:01

Polkadots that sounds more like it. My school was a girls' grammar and behaviour was generally excellent. Detention was not common. Other schools around us used it a lot more.

If a child has done something minor, by accident perhaps or through misunderstanding etc then a discussion ought to sort that out and ensure it isn't repeated.

If they have done something more deliberate and major then a detention is unlikely to address the root cause of the behaviour. So it isn't particularly appropriate for any situation that I can see.

Rooners Sat 09-Aug-14 09:24:20

And therefore no - I do not support a school using detention.

ElephantsNeverForgive Sat 09-Aug-14 09:43:39

The other problem with no HW = detention is it babies the pupils.

It's utterly ridiculous that I had to write a note for my 16y DD explaining why she hadn't done a maths past paper.

It was a watertight reason, she could explain perfectly herself.

And works experience etc. wonder why it's mummy who rings. It's because that's how it has to be at school. Inflexible discipline systems get parents involved for really petty things we would have sorted out ourselves.

Maryz Sat 09-Aug-14 09:50:57

I wonder what the answer is to persistent non-homework-doing? I get the idea of punishment for 14/15 year olds actually, because if 25 children in a class see that 3 or 4 aren't doing it and are getting away with it, a few of them will also stop doing it. So a teacher has to enforce homework somehow with this age group.

With older kids, yes, it's their problem if they don't do the work and by that stage the other kids should have matured enough to realise that it's up to them, the teacher shouldn't be wasting time on enforcement.

Rooners, what consequence would you suggest for continual low-level disruption in class or continual refusal to do any work? I'm just curious, because if teachers can't "punish" what can they do? In a school where all the children want to achieve and are basically well-behaved it isn't necessary, but in a school where a proportion of kids don't want to be there at all and are destroying things for the others, a teacher has to do something.

ElephantsNeverForgive Sat 09-Aug-14 10:02:24

Maryz that is exactly the problem, anyone who couldn't complete (even though they had practicals in music art and drama) Maths past papers was likely to fetch up in detention because of a few serial lazy arses. These DCs need to become HOD, progress leaders problem rather than spoiling the atmosphere for everyone else at a very stressful time.

Rooners Sat 09-Aug-14 10:05:47

In a school where all the children want to achieve and are basically well-behaved it isn't necessary, but in a school where a proportion of kids don't want to be there at all and are destroying things for the others, a teacher has to do something.

Yes - this is a fundamental issue isn't it, and one which I have neither the skill nor the experience to address. It is something that makes me question the entire premise of compulsory school education tbh.

Children who do not want to be there should not be forced to be there imho. I know what it is to be in that situation, because I was a school refuser from the age of 8 or 9 and it built into significant mental health issues by the time I was a teenager. All I knew was that I did not want to be at school.

If just one person had said to me, Ok, that's Ok, you can do this instead - anything, anything at all - then it would have helped me so much I don't know where to begin.

I think we have to take a step back into the causes of this stuff rather than implement a cure-all from the top down. In the mean time I guess you have got whatever protocols are at your disposal and it cannot be an easy job.

Rooners Sat 09-Aug-14 10:08:46

By the way I should probably mention that I wasn't deliberately disruptive or badly behaved. I just cried a lot and had horrendous panic attacks that no one knew how to help me with. But I adapted into secondary for a time by going barefoot and escaping to the orchards and sitting in trees a lot, eating my lunch outside alone in winter, or hiding in a practice room with a piano. Miserable life but it could have been avoided.

BadDog Sat 09-Aug-14 10:09:08

detention, like prison wink isnt just for the offender though. it is to give a firm message to others that whatever the behaviour was is nOT acceptable.

Maryz Sat 09-Aug-14 10:12:41

"Children who don't want to be there shouldn't be"

I agree with you absolutely. This forcing 15 to 19 year olds who are not academic, never were academic, never wanted to be academic to spend 6-7 hours a day 40 weeks a year sitting in a classroom is just torture.

No wonder they kick up, no wonder they cause trouble outside school.

Compulsory education might seem like a good idea, but does it have to be dry English and Maths and History and sitting at a desk?

If they put some of the education money into teaching kids trades for example, that might solve some of the lack of interest and disruption for older teenagers at least [sigh]

Maryz Sat 09-Aug-14 10:14:55

Exactly Elephants.

Some teachers are willing to accept good excuses, occasionally, from otherwise hardworking children.

Others just snap occasionally and give out detentions randomly, not taking any notice of who has a good reason and who hasn't done any homework at all for a month hmm

Yes BadDog, exactly, but that's fair enough for 14 year olds; by 16 any child who wants to do well with do homework without the thread. If they haven't learned by then, there realistically is little a teacher can do.

Rooners Sat 09-Aug-14 10:20:59

I don't pin it all on the teachers btw. There are a lot of parents who terrified of the consequences of allowing a child not to attend mainstream will enforce it themselves till they are blue in the face. People are sometimes simply too ignorant to understand children's needs.

I remember sitting at the table at home one morning with my mother when I was 10 or 11, crying and saying that I couldn't face another day at school, and her putting her head in her hands and actually screaming.

She said it really scared her because it was not 'normal'.

So whatever schools do there will be children who are at the receiving end of some serious parental issues, probably physical violence and all sorts of threats and dramatics.

I could never be a teacher

Maryz Sat 09-Aug-14 10:27:08

That's awful Rooners flowers

With hindsight, I think that's how ds1 felt about school. I wish he had told me - though I'm not sure I would have had the strength to take him out.

I'm very different with ds2 though - there are days I just let him stay at home because I know mentally he won't cope with the day. I also sometimes let him do his homework after breakfast and take him in late, for the same reason.

I think schools need to be more flexible rather than having a strict "one size fits all, and if you don't fit we will punish you" policy.

Though I suppose that's really deviating from the point of the thread.

Sorry op smile

Higheredserf Sat 09-Aug-14 10:39:37

They have made dc litter pick at after school detentions at my DS school. After school ones are for serious offences and break time ones for less serious. He has had two break time detentions one for talking so justified and one which seemed a little unfair as he was the last to sit down at the start of a lesson.

I don't agree with all class detentions at all, very unfair.

ElephantsNeverForgive Sat 09-Aug-14 10:58:38

DDs maths teacher is great, but there seems to be a few DCs in sets 2/3 and in more mixed ability stuff like art and drama who are determined to do no work even though they are capable of getting C/B grades.

Just throwing these DCs in detention does not for fill the need to find out why they are willing to risk their futures for want of 3 months effort.

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