What members of the task group said

22nd June 2001 at 01:00
Moira Tannock, head of Langlaw primary, Dalkeith:

"We do have challenging children and the problem is finding the time and support to deal with them effectively so that they are not excluded from the learning process. Generally speaking, it's the children further up the school. The solutions in the report are eminently usable by schools and the message for teachers is that they'll be supported.

"In my school, early intervention has helped enormously. Children who have come through it are showing a remarkable difference. They are more focused, keener to learn and are aware of target-setting, as are their parents."

Neal McGowan, head of Gracemount High, Edinburgh:

"The important message is that the punitive approach to discipline has no place here. We've got to develop strategies that support teachers as they cannot be isolated and bandoned and hope to cope with inappropriate behaviour. We've got to put in pedagogical support to managing teaching and learning and allow senior management and behaviour support staff to back them up.

"We have to empower teachers in secondary who tend to pass on responsibilities to guidance and senior staff. Very quickly you're into a referral-out system."

Professor Pamela Munn, associate dean of the education faculty at Edinburgh University.

"A key aspect is the link between good discipline and learning and teaching and you cannot separate discipline from the kinds of classroom experience children are having. Guidance about flexibility in the curriculum is quite important. Schools worry that if they stray too far from the 5-14 programme and modes at Standard grade they will be frowned upon by the local authority and HMI."

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