Do School Teachers Need Tougher Punishments for Children?

According to Education Secretary Michael Gove schools need to be tougher on pupils with behaviour problems by giving teachers the power to punish students with community work such as picking up litter after school to being able to physically stop and restrain students caught fighting. This suggestion has been welcomed by many teachers and parents but at the same time has met much opposition from various groups who argue that teachers do not need a ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy and that many deterrents are already being used.

 

Gove admits that since 2010 there has been great improvement where student behaviour is concerned but that 700,000 pupils are still falling in the ‘not good enough’ category. The department of Education further went on to say that the current punishment guidelines stopped short of examples and that the updated guidelines that will be released in the following weeks will make it easier for teachers to effectively give out the right punishments.

 

However, Gove has caught the attention of The Association of Teachers and Lecturers calling his policies “increasingly bizarre” and the general secretary of ATL Mary Bousted stated:

 

“While he says he wants to give school leaders and teachers the power to make the right decisions for their schools, he takes every opportunity to tell them what to do.”

 

She further went on to point out that Ofstead had said that over 90% of pupils in all schools across the UK have ‘good’ or ‘better’ behaviour and adding more punishments was unnecessary.

 

Headteacher Ian Finn also agreed with Boosted saying that behaviour was ‘better than ever’ and “To think we need to hark back to the 50s and 60s… I think is wholly wrong and we need to reject it.”

 

Teachers, parents and unions will be waiting for the updated guidelines before saying too much but it is safe to say there is clear animosity between the Department of Education and those directly and indirectly involved in school education.

 

Do you think our school system needs tougher punishments; let me know in the comment section below.

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Mike Hutchins

Mike Hutchins is the founder of Good Morning Children, an on-line company that provides engaging and mentally stimulating resources for primary school children of all ages. Mike started Good Morning Children in 2006 with the aim of the company being to help children develop key thinking and reasoning skills. His qualifications include B.Sc (Engineering) and a PGCE in primary education.

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