Invest earlier for bigger rewards

11th February 2005 at 00:00
Ruth Kelly's intention to install a policy of "zero tolerance" for low-level poor behaviour would possibly have more substance to it were it not an election year and announced at the same time as Conservative plans to install special units for serious misbehaviour. In the case of the latter, someone should tell Tim Collins that many of these "units" have been disbanded over the past few years, either in the name of inclusion or as a budget cut.

Zero tolerance was, I recall, the rallying cry of both New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and the police chief of Sunderland in their respective crusades against crime.

Ms Kelly's idea of cutting down on lower-level, debilitating, misbehaviour has merit but she needs to look at this alongside resources and the training of some parents who profess a belief in the disciplining of pupils until it includes their child. More "revolutionary", perhaps, would be to put money and support into foundation and key stage 1 where it would have enormous rewards.

I have long suspected that the decision-makers in the Department for Education and Skills still believe that real school begins at 11, whereas teachers and real educationists know that it starts very much lower down.

Tony Roberts 144 Cop Lane Penwortham, Preston

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now