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A fighting chance for ‘unmanageable’ students

Hackney’s The Boxing Academy – winner of the Tes alternative provision school of the year – is teaching self-discipline alongside GCSEs

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You might think that the last thing you’d want to do with kids at risk of exclusion for violent behaviour is to show them how to throw a punch properly.

But the real surprise of The Boxing Academy – the winner of the Tes Schools Award for alternative provision school of the year – is that many of its streetwise, tough students aren’t keen to learn how to fight.

“Ninety per cent of the kids say they don’t like boxing,” says principal Anna Cain. “Most of them don’t do any exercise. There’s a lot of sitting on the sofa playing PlayStation.”

That isn’t necessarily out of laziness, Cain suggests. ...

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