No-notice detentions: the good, bad and ugly
Every week we are issued with a list of students who we are not allowed to give after-school detentions to as their parents object to their being kept behind. The list grows weekly and naturally contains all the worst-behaved kids.
It is all well and good Gove saying that schools should do this, but he doesn't see the real issue - the parents need to be told they have to control their kids and they are responsible for the behaviour of their child in class.
One of my most spectacular sightings was of a parent emptying the headmaster's dinner over his head in front of 250 pupils in the dining room with a loud cry of "You ruined my lunchtime by keeping my son in detention without informing me, so I'm ruining yours."
I believe the attacker got his just desserts.
The best head I worked for enforced Saturday morning detentions. His stated line was: "My teachers are not here to babysit your badly behaved teenagers."
Parents do not have the legal right to withdraw their children from school detentions. If they feel unable to support the values of the school, they should choose to educate their children elsewhere.
I don't have any problems with detentions, but I wouldn't like them to be held after school on the same day without my knowing about it.
Of course schools have the power to detain pupils without notice. Punishment must be prompt, not delayed, to be effective and telephones exist to tell parents their darlings have misbehaved.
Perhaps if parents are inconvenienced and worried, it may get them to apply a little more pressure on little Johnny to behave. We always had no-notice detentions (as children). It was never a problem. I got my arse kicked when I got home, mind.
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