Sin bin culture

23rd February 2001 at 00:00
I welcomed Tom Greene's comments (TESS, January 26) on improving discipline in schools by delivering a quality curriculum and encouraging pupils to take more responsibility for their own learning.

There is a wealth of existing research and evidence of good practice to be found in various educational publications to support his views. Likewise there is a significant body of evidence to suggest that increasingly punitive measures, such as the introduction of "sin bins" in schools, are counter-productive. And yet this old chestnut continues to recur with boring regularity.

Creating special discipline rooms in schools (sin bins) is a temping, popular and easy option for those in authority, be it within the school or at government level. Something is "seen" to be being done by the decision-makers, and it avoids the necessity of addressing the root causes of indiscipline within the classroom, which are inappropriate curricula, inadequate teaching methods and poor teacher-pupil relationships.

Looking at the real issues of bad behaviour in schools means acknowledging that we as teachers bear some of the responsibility. Creating a "sin bin" puts all the blame on the pupil - a much easier option.

Jane Mott Principal teacher of support for learners, Aberdeenshire

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