Too late for teenage thugs

10th June 2005 at 01:00
A deputy head who was viciously assaulted during a school open evening believes increasing prison sentences will do little to prevent attacks on teachers.

Gary Dreher was left with severe cuts and bruises after he was attacked at the gates of St James' high in Exeter by teenagers last September.

A 17-year-old received 10 months in prison for the assault which occurred during an event when prospective pupils and parents were visiting the school.

Mr Dreher, 40, said he did not believe that longer prison sentences would have put off his attackers.

"I don't think that prison sentences are an effective deterrent," he said.

"Far better to spend the money on earlier intervention, because by the time young people like that are teenagers it is too late."

Mr Dreher said that smaller class sizes and greater investment in schemes that helped disadvantaged children, such as Sure Start, would make more sense.

"My attackers had a difficult background, but that doesn't excuse what they did," he said.

"They were out-and-out thugs. Even if they had put the sentences up to 50 years I don't think it would have deterred them."

Primary forum 24

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