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Sinning against positive ethos

I AM concerned at the supportive tone that you give to the term "sin bins" (TES, April 28).

"Sinners are to be punished" is the immediate association brought to mind by the term. We have a compelling body of empirical evidence that punishment merely suppresses inappropriate behaviour. When the punishment, or its threat, is removed the original behaviour usually returns - ometimes at a greater intensity and higher frequency.

The dedicated units for "disruptive pupils" need a label that reflects a positive educational ethos; for example, pupil guidance unit or citizenship centre.

Dr E McNamara

Independent educational psychology services

Freshfields primary school site

Watchyard Lane

Formby

Liverpool

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