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Heads have no jurisdiction over rioters

I do not see Mossbourne Academy head Sir Michael Wilshaw as a hero ("'Throw book' at young rioters, urges 'hero' head"). Nor do I believe that schools have any right to punish pupils for what they do outside school. This applies in particular to the holidays. And while I agree in principle with academy sponsor Lord Harris's idea for vocational schools for the excluded, I would point out that pupils get bored at school and work as well as during holidays.

In fact, boredom is one way in which school is an invaluable preparation for working life. One also learns at school that those in authority tend to be petty-minded, spiteful, arbitrary and unreasonable, have strong tendencies towards paranoia and megalomania, and make up rules to amuse themselves.

Mark Taha, London.

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