Put disruptive boys in 'sin-bins'

8th September 2000 at 01:00
THE fact that girls are doing better than boys in their external exams is a credit to the girls.

They are working in spite of - or perhaps because of - the fact that their opportunities in later life will not match those of their male classmates. They know that they have to be better in the workplace to get the same rewards.

By law, boys and girls must be given an equal chance at school. Both boys and girls should be encouraged equally. Neither sex should be given an unfair advantage.

Boys already monopolise teachers' attention in the classroom. Much of teachers' time is spent simply trying to keep boys' attention and prevent them disrupting classes. This is unfair to girls.

Addressing boys' disruptive behaviour is the key to improving their performance. The strategy need not be multi-faceted: simple discipline is required.

Where normal disciplinary measures fail to make a pupil behave, that pupil should forfeit the right to be in class.

Separae supervised facilities should be provided where excluded pupils can carry on with their work. If necessary, the excluded pupils should be required to study a more limited range of essential subjects including reading, writing, numeracy and information technology.

This sin-bin system would require more staff and buildings. It would not be a soft option but a disciplined regime leading to qualifications which gave the pupil genuine opportunities and purpose in life.

Outside school, the pattern of irresponsible male behaviour is repeated: it is mainly boys, not girls, who cause disorder on the streets; most prisoners are men; and many men fail even to take responsibility for their own families. Domestic violence is usually perpetrated by the male.

Failure to improve boys' behaviour in school will result in an increase in thisundisciplined male behaviour.

Anne H Tyler

25 Rockfield Glade


Caldicot, South Wales

Society, 25

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