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Detention during lunch break - is that normal?

(26 Posts)
cakedup Wed 05-Oct-16 16:14:06

DS has just started in year 7, so secondary school is a whole new ball game to me.

They get two 30 minute breaks during the day. For the second break, the whole class got detention. DS had been in a school club for the first break, so did not get a break at all and the chance to eat.

Presumably, other kids who did not eat in the first break also went hungry. Is that usual? Because it seems really wrong to me.

a7mints Wed 05-Oct-16 16:16:13

which one is the 'lunch' break when full meals are served?

KayJBee Wed 05-Oct-16 16:19:57

Our school do lunch time detentions but the kids are allowed to eat in them. The teachers always make sure the kids either have lunch with them or let them get something from the canteen. A lunch time detention slightly less serious than an after school one.

cakedup Wed 05-Oct-16 16:20:00

Good question. The second break is the one where the full meals are available. Snacks only are available on the first break.

a7mints Wed 05-Oct-16 16:30:48

then you need to email the school in a non-confrontational way to ask what is the procedure for your child buying and eating lunch in these cases

confuugled1 Wed 05-Oct-16 16:52:31

I have a new Y7 starter too.

If there is a single designated lunch break then I'd be incredibly cross if the school issued a lunch time detention without ensuring that the dc were able to eat.

Ds's school has started a parental drop in session every week or two, to replicate the 'catching up with the teacher after school' that goes on in primary school, albeit you'd probably see any teacher rather than specific teachers, and they would either be able to answer the question or feed you on to the right person to talk to. Otherwise, is there any other way that you can contact the school to find out? Even if it's just ringing reception?

Some kids will be fine if they miss lunch. There will be other kids (particularly if they are diabetic or on certain medications or are just like dh & ds2 and need regular food otherwise they become massively tired and grumpy very quickly and would find it difficult to concentrate by the latter part of the school day.) for whom it is much more important that they eat when they are supposed to eat and for whom missing a meal would mean serious side effects.

BizzyFizzy Wed 05-Oct-16 16:58:03

Taking away a student's free time is an. effective way of managing bad behaviour, hence detentions being a traditional approach.

Some schools/parents make it impossible to have after school detentions, so lunchtime it has to be.

Personally, I don't think the length of time matters that much, as long as you are disrupting the students free time. In this scenario, 10 minutes lunch/5 minutes toilet and getting ready for the afternoon/15 minutes detention would work. 15 minutes is plenty of time for students to reflect on their behaviour, and it won't seem unjust to them. Missing lunch is counter-productive.

A whole class detention is always going to be unfair, so should be no more than 5 minutes, preferably keeping them in the lesson if it runs into a break or lunch.

GeorgeTheThird Wed 05-Oct-16 17:00:36

It is completely normal, but there should be an opportunity to eat. Check with your child exactly what happened before you call the school smile

youarenotkiddingme Wed 05-Oct-16 19:25:03

Lunchtime detentions are normal for everyday misdemeanours. Forgetting homework, disrupting lessons, not having right equipment etc.
I actually think it's fairer to teachers as they are usually in class preparing for next lesson and doesn't eat into their after school time.

But the teachers and students should be able to eat. Food with holding is actually as every form of punishment.

But totally agree that disrupting social time or rather gossip time for most teens is an effective way to make them reflect.

Look at the behaviour policy it should state clearly what detentions are used for what difficulties and if there's nothing about lunchtime detentions and eating you can just email HOY to clarify. It doesn't need to be complaining or confrontational but can purely ask what the arrangements are for students to eat lunch during a lunchtime detention.

Ta1kinpeece Wed 05-Oct-16 20:31:50

Completely normal and standard practice to let new year 7s learn where the new boundaries lie

MuffyTheUmpireSlayer Wed 05-Oct-16 20:36:04

I always give lunch time detentions but make sure the kids have enough time to rush out and gets what ever is left over in the canteen before the bell goes.

30 minutes doesn't sound like a long time for lunch anyway. How do they have time to queue, eat and run around or relax? We have a 20 minute morning break and 45 minute lunch and even then some kids are still eating when the bell goes.

DoctorDonnaNoble Thu 06-Oct-16 06:51:18

Completely normal. I'm more concerned at the length of the lunch time. That's far too short. Do they finish early? When do they do clubs and help sessions?

mummytime Thu 06-Oct-16 07:44:07

In those circumstances I would email the school (either form tutor or head of year, or equivalent for your school) and point out you are concerned that DC had a detention and didn't get a chance to eat. Then they can remind teachers: a) to ensure students have a chance to eat during lunchtime detentions; b) that year 7's sometimes need to be reminded they can do this and be sent to the canteen (or even taken to grab a snack and queue jump).

Any sensible teacher wants the students to eat, or behaviour can deteriorate.

TheColonelAdoresPuffins Thu 06-Oct-16 08:47:54

Just looked this up for dd's school. It says there should always be time to eat and go to the toilet when a child has a lunchtime detention. Lunch is 40 minutes and a detention for lateness is 20 mins. (I don't know about length of other detentions.) Clubs are lunchtime (eat at the club,) before and after school. Mainly after school.

myfavouritecolourispurple Fri 07-Oct-16 09:20:43

My son's school has two 20 minute breaks.

Lunchtime (breaktime) detentions are normal. But the kids must be given the chance to eat.

cakedup Fri 07-Oct-16 21:08:11

confuugled1 the parental drop in session is SUCH a good idea. Honestly, as much as DS is finding secondary school overwhelming I am finding it baffling.

MuffyTheUmpireSlayer I don't think 30 mins is long enough either, DS tells me there is always a huge queue.

DoctorDonnaNoble they finish at 3:10pm. I'm not sure what you mean by help sessions (they have tutor sessions am and pm?) and they run extra curricular clubs during both breaks as well as after school.

myfavouritecolourispurple only two 20 min breaks a day?? shock

I looked up the school's Behaviour and Relationship policy but there are no specifics. I emailed his form tutor and mentioned DS he is very anxious about secondary school and finding it hard to adjust, he is often so nervous in the mornings that he can't eat breakfast. I don't want him not to have the opportunity to eat during lunch either. She said she would inform his teachers not to keep DS in for the whole of lunchtime.

So it sounds like it does happen, but that she is making an exception for DS.

I am shocked to be honest. I just don't think withdrawing the opportunity to eat is appropriate, not even for adults let alone children! And extremely counter-productive if you want them to behave and concentrate for the rest of the day. It all seems very archaic to me.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sat 08-Oct-16 05:46:26

Help sessions? Where students can ask for help or be told to attend. I have a year 11 boy seeing me over a series of break times to improve his work.
That lunchtime length isn't really long enough for extra curricular imo. I think our 55 minutes is a smidgen too short. Our school starts lessons at 8:50 and we finish at 3:40. Break is twenty minutes, lunch 55 minutes. I always start lunch time detentions at 1, giving 25 minutes break before half hour detention.
Detention is meant to be inconvenient.

TheColonelAdoresPuffins Sat 08-Oct-16 08:47:08

They probably do extra curricular before or after school instead then.
OP i wouldn't assume the teacher meant that most children don't get to eat if they have a detention and she will make an exception for your son. It doesn't seem likely.

Ditsyprint40 Sat 08-Oct-16 09:59:19

OP I don't think they're withdrawing opportunity to eat. There will be time to eat outside of the detention time.

Esker Sat 08-Oct-16 13:29:58

I teach in a secondary school and the lunch break is 45mins. Lunch time detentions last 20 mins so there is time or students to get a meal and use the toilets etc.

So it's definitely normal for detentions to be held at lunch but the school needs to allow some way for students to eat and use the facilities. Agree with previous poster who advised asking school in non confrontational way what the arrangements are for eating and using toilets in this situation .

LockedOutOfMN Sat 08-Oct-16 22:20:07

cakedup Without knowing the specifics of your son's school, in the school where I work, students would miss their club to attend detention (or eat so that they could then have detention).

At our school, students would only miss detention for pre-paid music lessons and the times of those are circulated by the director of music so teachers can check and take them into account when setting a detention. Other clubs would all have to be forfeited in order to have a detention - detention is a punishment so it stands that students have to miss something in order to attend.

But, as I said, it may be a different arrangement for your son's school.

PrincessHairyMclary Sat 08-Oct-16 22:27:03

At our school students are given time to run and get something at the end of detention.

We have short lunchtimes as it helps with behaviour management and lessens the amount of time for fights/bullying.

user1484597799 Wed 01-Feb-17 06:27:11

Yeah that is pretty normal I had lunch detention at school one teacher once escorted me to the canteen and quickly got me through the que before she took me to her detention to make sure I got my lunch

Bensyster Wed 01-Feb-17 07:27:43

Whole class detentions are a bit crap but Year 7's do get more detentions than any other year....sometimes too many as they don't take them seriously after the first 5! Our school usually do break time detentions.

Wumpychoo Wed 01-Feb-17 14:59:51

Dd said they were told at the end of Year 7 that there were two kids in her year who'd had more detentions that year than the whole of Year 10 put together. So that figures that Year 7 get more.

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