Kids left fuming

10th July 2009 at 01:00

The TES Magazine article on pupils smoking outside the school gates (Problem, July 3) features a quote from me that begins: "This type of approach would seem to combine a more educative dimension with the punitive element ... ". The positioning of this quote implies I am critical of the type of whole-school approaches described in the preceding paragraphs. In fact, I would endorse many of the methods suggested by consultant Sue Allen. My comments related specifically to compulsorily enrolling individuals in a smoking awareness group, particularly when this is run in the pupil's own time.

Successful smoking awareness groups rely on at least some shared understanding between the pupil and school that smoking is a problem. The resentment that the pupil may feel about the punitive connotations of compulsory enrolment may get in the way of establishing this shared understanding.

Simon Ellis, Senior lecturer, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, Kent.

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