School discipline policy - is this normal?(60 Posts)
DC has recently been getting repeatedly in trouble for minor things ( not concentrating, fidgeting, chatting to a friend etc). However his current teacher's universal discipline method appears to send him out of class for varying periods of time. According to my dc, these vary from 5 mins to an hour or so - he is sent to the year above's classroom and given some random written work to do. This has happened every day, at least twice a day, this week. Sometimes they forget to get him back before the next class starts and he misses the start of a new topic.
This can't be normal discipline can it? Surely?
I'm worried that he's missing out on lots of learning for what seem like fairly minor infractions. I appreciate that if he's being continually low-level disruptive that's annoying but even if this is the case (and I'm not at all clear if it is), surely there must be better ways of discipline that actually deal with the problem and prevent it, not just hiding it out of sight?
Advice appreciated, thank you.
That doesn't sound right at all.
I would ask for an appointment to clarify, first of all, what is actually happening, as I can't believe the other staff would be continually prepared to have additional dc in their class for such a length of time - it's something you do to help a colleague out when it might work as a one off, not a daily or weekly thing. Maybe your dc's perception is different from the teacher's.
You need to look at the Bahaviour Policy. If this is a state school, the Behaviour Policy should be very much about promoting good behaviour and rewarding good attitudes to learning. The punishments you describe do not feature in any Behaviour Policy I have ever seen. It is extremely lazy to punish like this and not encouraging good behaviour at all. I would find out what they should be doing and ask them why they are not doing it.
If it is a private school, they may be more draconian and have an old fashioned approach to discipline which is all about exclusion and punishment. You may need to think about what you want. It also tells me the Head does not have a clue about promoting good behaviour and positive attitudes to learning or that teachers are appropriately trained if they are not following the agreed policy. Does the Head know what is happening?
It isn't uncommon to send children to another class occasionally. Usually it would be the case that this comes at the end of a set of tired warnings. I'm surprised by the frequency though. If that had happened in my class I would be meeting with the parents. So I think it's reasonable to ask to speak to the teacher both about his behaviour (which s/he is obviously not impressed with) and their strategies.
To be honest this kind of constant behaviour, and if this is happening as much as you say it us constant, is very disruptive to other children and the teacher. My own child can be one very distressed when there's a child constantly being disruptive in this way. I agree a child should be removed in these cases and I think more schools should do this as it negatively affects the other children's education. They should continue their class work in another setting tho not just random work.
I think you need to go in and talk to his teacher.
The frequency and duration of the sanctions is suggests that they are having no effect, and if your DS hasn't learned how to behave in the classroom (how old is he?) this will have a major effect on how well he learns.
I think you and the school need to be in close communication about this, to work out what should be done next.
What are effective sanctions at home, or in other places such as clubs?
He's 9. I have already spoken to the teacher many times, and the Deputy Head once (there is no head currently as she left (was made to leave? - don't know) after a bad Ofsted).
I really just wanted to check this out as whilst I appreciate that sending a child out occasionally might be reasonable, doing it more than once a day, every day, does not seem reasonable to me.
I would have thought more positive methods of discipline would be standard - I did look at the school's behaviour policy last night and whilst it says that putting a child in another classroom is possible, it's certainly not suggested as the routine, default position for what, as far as I can see, sounds like being a typical 9-year-old boy. Yes, he's guilty of sometimes not concentrating, esp if the work's a bit dull. Yes, he will occasionally joke around with his friends (but it is only ever him sent out, never the other boy/s, even if they started it) etc. It certainly deserves a shush, or a frown, or a question to check he's following...or even demotion or lack of points on a behaviour chart. But not being simply removed from the learning environment again and again?
I'm baffled - the teacher has taught my elder DCs and was an excellent teacher. It's a state school. DS has never, ever been in trouble with any previous teacher and I've never even heard a bad word said about his behaviour or concentration by any previous teacher. He certainly doesn't have ADHD and is doing quite well academically.
DS has started telling me he's 'bad' and he hates himself, which breaks my heart.
Obviously I want him to behave well - but not at the cost of hating himself and school.
What to do now?
In my school we do something like this. I would tend to go verbal warning, then desk on own, then moving to another class though. Extra work and missing out on a class game or pair activity might come into it, as would losing Dojo points. Not all at once obviously, but you get the idea. Positive systems are used too obviously but it can't all be carrot.
Moving to another class is used for serious disturbances though - low level disturbance might qualify if they were cheeky about it, but generally not.
Twice a day though is really too much time to spend out - aside from anything else it isn't working. What do they do after that - there seems to be no step up and it's clearly not working. Is he the only one being sent out?
Yes he is the only one being sent out - even on the occasions when he just joins in with something another boy is doing. He probably is being cheeky - but (without going into too much detail), I have recently had to complain to the school about a safeguarding issue in the school where the school failed in its duty of care to keep him safe so I am not surprised that after that his faith in school authority figures has been a bit rattled. And I don't think it's unreasonable to expect the school to be aware of that (they certainly are) and take that into account when deciding on appropriate discipline (which they don't seem to be doing at all).
Sounds a bit 'zero tolerance' really, yeah look at the behavior policy it prob on your schools website.
It does sound as though it isn't working though if its happening that often.
You really need to go and see the teacher to get their side too and to show that you want to support your son's learning. It's not uncommon to send a child out of the class for misbehaving.
Tbh it sounds like more than being a regular nine year old. I would not keep a cheeky kid in class - aside from anything else it sets a bad example to others and encourages them to push boundaries. While they need to think about his circumstances of course, there's also another 29 or so in the room, and they need to be mindful of them. But it's clear from the amount of times he's sent out that it just isn't working with him, so something has to change.
I think you need to sit down with the school and work out what rewards and sanctions they can put in place to deal with him. Definitely come at it from the angle of "what can we do to get him to settle and learn in class" - if the teacher and you are on side about it, it will be much more productive.
If it was my child, I would be thinking more about how to deal with his behaviour rather than the punishment is acceptable or not. Teacher might be at the end of her tether.
He's being a pest. Deal with that and stop blaming staff.
Do you really think that the teacher sends him out before attempting to frown at him or shush him?
His faith in school authority figures has been rattled?
So he's playing up?
He needs to behave then he won't get sent out. I think you need to hear from the teacher.
And who told you they "forget" to get him back?
I'm amazed at the way some people seem to think that kids are only ok if they behave perfectly in class all the time.
Something's going wrong here and it's not the fault of the 9 year old - who is talking about hating himself!! If a child is playing up then the teacher needs to deal with it effectively and/or involve the parents. Obviously this is not what's happening.
I can understand there's something going wrong. But OP said she has spoken to teacher and D.head already, and no Sen involved. He get disruptive when work is dull. She is worrying about him missing valuable learning time... what about missing valuable learning time for other 29 children while teacher is dealing with him?
Thanks IoraRua for your constructive advice.
Wolfiefan and TheTroubleWith - of course he needs to behave! I don't think anyone is disputing that. As I said, I'm not totally clear quite what he has actually been doing, so talking more to the school should help to make that clear. But labelling him a 'pest' will not resolve anything. And the current approach doesn't seem to be resolving anything either. So I hope we can work with the school to find an approach that does resolve it.
Yes I think it's normal. However it should only be for under an hour in my opinion. It's important that other peoples education isn't disrupted. Eventually he will cotton on! It might be worth asking for the teacher to ensure that the work he does in time out relates to what he's meant to be looking at in class.
Thanks all, for the range of opinions! Very helpful.
Two sides here. The other pupils in the class have a right to be taught without constant low level disruption
The strategies being used with your son don't seem to be working and it is important to sort this. If the strategy isn't working doing it more won't help. So you need to talk to the teacher. Discuss what other strategies could be used. If she is/at the end of the road getting others involved may help. And also consider SENCO. Many children with learning difficulties eg dyslexia, dyspraxia cancope till the work gets harder or they are expected to concentrate or sit down more then they flounder. Bad behaviour can be to cover this up. Also kids can miss behave to get attention/popularity from their peers. How is he socially.
Poor behaviour isn't always naughtiness it can be neediness. That's not an excuse to be naughty or a get out of jail free card. It means you may need to look deeper.
Remember if you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. So strategies need changing.
Hope that makes sense
Agree entirely Mary - hopefully we can find a strategy that works for all.
This is used at our school when a child has not responded to any other behaviour management, and the class (and teacher) need a 'break' from the constant disruption. It's highly unlikely to be as long as an hour, maybe 30 minutes at most, just so the cycle is broken . This would be followed up by the pastoral team if it keeps happening.
Also ' A typical 9-year-old boy'. - you've just excused his behaviour by thinking this is what is expected of a child of this age. It is not! They are expected to sit and listen, even to the ' dull' bits, because they are usually the important bits! At 9 years old he should be more than capable of that, and to learn to ignore the behaviour of the children around him, if it is their 'fault'.
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