A headmistress who introduced a ‘zero-tolerance policy’ to improve standards in her school has handed out 717 detentions in four days.Wow! Parents must be kicking up a stink, eh?
Catherine Jenkinson-Dix has won the support of many parents after deciding to punish misdemeanours including smoking, chewing gum, eating between lessons, carrying mobile phones, applying excessive make-up and insubordination.Is it working? The evidence says ‘Yes’:
A strict uniform policy was also announced under which individualistic touches such as odd socks or wearing hoodies in class would be banned.Anyone breaking the rules would be sent immediately to the school hall for five hours where they would have to read a booklet about good behaviour.
On Monday, the first day of the policy, 236 children – a fifth of pupils at City of Ely Community College in Cambridgeshire – were punished. On Tuesday the figure was 186, on Wednesday it was 180 and yesterday it was 115.
Supporters of the regime say the diminishing figures prove it is working.Even those whose children fell foul of the new regime aren’t all complaining:
Sophie Martin, 38, backed the school despite her son Jack, 14, being given a detention on Monday for talking when he was meant to be reading a book. She said: ‘He learned not to do it again and he hasn’t been back since.’Hurrah!
A parent of a 15-year-old boy said: ‘There are plenty who agree with what the school is doing.
‘Yes, the children that get detentions miss classes, but my son said that after several hours bored out of their skulls with nothing to do most of them actually want to be back in class. I think it’s a stroke of genius. ’But there’s always one, isn’t there?
Step forward, love! Your allotted brief fame beckons:
However, florist Amanda King, 34, took her children, Ben, 12, and Shannon, 14, out of classes on Wednesday and is now looking for a new school. She said her son had been given a detention for arriving late to a French lesson.Yes, staff are ‘nit-picking’ over behaviour and dress codes. How terribly unreasonable of them….
‘I’m absolutely appalled. They are wrecking pupils’ education and turning it into a prison,’ she said. ‘Staff are nit-picking over everything – for behaviour, for what they wear.’
Lest we think she’s the only one:
Ruth Hanslip, 47, has stopped sending her daughter Karris, 13, to the school after she was punished on three consecutive days for laughing, wearing a bracelet and carrying a mobile phone.Her daughter ‘Karris’. I think you can tell a lot from the names people give their children.
She said: ‘We’d both had enough. They don’t give them any work to do and my daughter is now missing out on her school work.’
And it’s the school’s fault that her spawn is missing out on lessons, by introducing all these rules and stuff! The squares!
Governor Ben Gibbs said: ‘Teachers are saying they are getting through their lesson plans quicker and we have feedback from students effectively saying how much better the lessons are.’Maybe it’s better not just because of the remaining kid's attention to work, but because the likes of Karris and Ben and Shannon have had their disruptive, rude, uncontrollable little presences withdrawn by their parents.
I vote that a win/win!