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What are your school's reward systems and do you think they work? Joan, Cambridge

A Our reward system is the best I have ever known. Class points are given for good work, or a polite gesture like opening doors and helping out with odd jobs. Each half term, the winning pupil receives a voucher for a "treat trip". We also have a whole school celebration assembly on Fridays to give out certificates for good work, which are then entered into an end-of-year raffle. Prizes range from a soft toy to a takeaway meal for two or a manicure, all donated by local businesses although some teachers do still give out the odd sweet.

Julie, Newport

A Display. Put everything on the walls. It celebrates the kids' achievements, parents love it and so does Ofsted. It hides a few cracks in the plaster too.

Richard, Selsey

A I'm not really convinced that rewards in the material sense make a big difference to anything other than the school budget. Pupils see through them quickly and the novelty wears off. We have to be careful that we don't turn education into some sort of gameshow, and should look to motivate through the "intrinsics", such as pride in the pupils' work, achievement and praise. Rewards in terms of prizes can be very shallow.

Sheila, Worthing

A It is too easy to reward pupils who would have done well anyway. Instead, focus on meaningful and motivational rewards for the reluctant learners, such as visits to local colleges, which will be delighted to host events for a part of the market they find hard to reach.

Graham, Crowborough

A Though many schools can benefit from a rewards system to motivate or to modify behaviour, pupils must consider the reward worth having. Then, having achieved it, they should be motivated further. While many actors are driven to collect Oscar after Oscar, there might be a limit to how many book tokens a 15-year-old wants to win

Rod, Feltham


Q: I have had many job interviews recently. A reference, which could be perceived negatively, is the only real reason I have been unsuccessful. What can I do? Q: The teacher who covers my class for my PPA time seems to have been transported directly from Victorian England. The children are forced to work in silence, cannot move from their seats and must fold their arms and look at the teacher the whole time. They have complained to me that they are forced to stand up if they make a number of mistakes. What should I do? Send your answer or any question you would like answered by your fellow teachers to We pay pound;30 for any question or answer published.

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