Sunday, December 02, 2007

Violence in School

Following news that even violent assault is unlikely to keep a child excluded from school anymore, illustrated by several recent cases in the South-east, it appears that school governors are increasingly overturning head-teachers decisions to exclude dangerous and violent children from the classroom and the rules, as they should be applied appear further below.

A recent study has shown that England's classrooms are among the world's most violent, with the nation coming 36th out of 45 in a league table of school safety.

Call me old-fashioned, but I never thought that school was the place to keep violent children with "issues" because their continued disruptive presence damages the educational prospects of the other children. Sadly, because provision has to be made for the education of such 'lost' children (and there are increasingly more as time passses) and there is no money available for "special" education, the burden of care appears to fall back on the school.

If you had a demonstrably violent colleague in the workplace, would that person be dismissed or would the employer be expected to keep him in place, regardless of any potential risk to the workforce?

How the rules on exclusions work:

• Only the head teacher can exclude a pupil.

• The decision should only be taken where the basic facts have been established on the balance of probabilities.

• It should only be used as a last resort when other strategies have been exhausted.

• Exclusion for a one-off offence is permissible if there has been serious actual or threatened violence, if there has been, sexual abuse, or for supplying drugs or carrying an offensive weapon.

• Permanent exclusions must be ratified by the governing body. The head's decision can be overturned at this stage.

• Parents may contest the decision and take it to the local authority independent appeal panel, made up of between three and five people, including a serving or former school governor and a head teacher who have no connection to the school involved.

• Where cases include very serious one-off offences, persistent and defiant misbehaviour including bullying, or repeated possession and/or use of drugs on school premises, the Secretary of State would "not normally expect" the governing body or appeal panel to reinstate the pupil.


Anonymous said...

I think I have told this story on thread before .... however here we go:

My wife bought an old barber's mirror because she liked the frame. The mirror rattled a little in the frame so she asked me to fix it.

I soon realised that someone had fixed it before because backing the mirror, inside the frame, was a layer of newspaper.

I read the reports.

There was a report of a classroom incident for which both teacher and pupil were in court. It appears that the lad had refused punbishment from the teacher. The teacher had grabbed the lad and a struggle ensued in which the teacher beat the lad's head against the wall. The lad stuick the nut into the teacher and, with more experience "On the cobbles" even at 13 years of age, begab giving teacher a hiding. Teacher ran to his desk and produced a bayonet. Lad, pre-emptively, gets out his own jackknife and stabs teacher.

Then there was a report on an innovative approach to juvenile crime. Trade training. Equipping young rascals with the skills to earn a living and develop self respect. Abandon the barbaric concept of punishment and embrace rehabilitation. And so the new enlightenment piece went on.

The newspaper was from London in the 1890s.

My late father told me about the ...... boys he went to school with in the 30s in Ipswich. The woodwork teacher could not even cow them with a smack from a lump of four by two. The old fella admits to almost feeling sorry for the Germans because the ----- boys all joined up in 1940. Commandos, paras etc. But the old chap joined the RN ended up fighting alongside Italian partisans and thinking "Thank God we got people like the ----- boys on our side" and "f-ck the Germans"

There is nothing new in school violence.

In Thanet there was a new innovation. Magna Carta commits the monarch to appointing as constables only men who know the law and who keep it well. So how come Thanet unilaterally departs from that and the Pc Schools Liaison officer was a convicted criminal liar ? What message does that send ?

We live in the age of the internal combustion engine and three phase electricity. Yet we have an education system which does not teach it. Nor does it teach first aid, lifesaving, self defence etc etc

The education system should strive to change the curriculum and make itself relevant. It has been a particularly offensive joke, causing immense damage to the national economy and to public standards, since WW2.

One of my grand daughters was bullied at school. She took up kick boxing (aged 8). came home from school in trouble. She had decked the bully and stuck the boot in once the other girl was down.

I told her "Well done".

And if the bully's parents want some then old grand dad will be happy to oblige.

This is the reality. The only choice is whether or not to be a victim.

Anonymous said...

We keep making excuses for poor behaviour; " he's got ADHD" " she has anger management problems". These are descriptions of disruptive and violent 5 and 6 year olds respectively, given to me by a teacher to explain why my son had been assaulted at his Infants School. They may be accurate descriptions but they seem to be trotted out as 'justification' for violent and disruptive behaviour. I personally don't care about the 'issues' unruly brats have, I am only interested in my children getting a safe and sound education. If they can't behave then they need to be 'trained' by the school until they do. I suspect that whilst a liberal application of slipper or cane will not solve the home 'issues' it would at least act as control on behaviour in school; bring back corporal punishment!

Michael Child said...

Thanks for the explanation of what exclusion actually means Simon.
What happens to the children that are excluded, do they have to stay at home during the school day or is there something in place to give them the proper remedial treatment so they can go back into school and eventually become useful members of society?

anon again! said...

anon again!

Makes you wonder, slightly, who the idiots are that think these stupid little bits of nonsense up!
Is it health & Safety or some Human Rights group.
If a child shows signs of being violent, it needs phsyciatric therapy, or a good welting with a slipper, until it admits humiliation.

James Maskell said...

Are there any statistics to show that exclusions on grounds of violent behaviour are being more increasingly over-turned by Governors?