"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