UK & World News
Teachers Told To 'Get Tough' On Bad Behaviour
Misbehaving pupils face a return to the days of writing out lines hundreds of times or being told to pick up litter under a major overhaul of school discipline.
Education Secretary Michael Gove says he wants a return to traditional classroom discipline and is urging teachers not be afraid of "getting tough" on bad behaviour in schools.
He will set out a list of new guidelines for teachers, to be issued this week, that will say "tough but proportionate" punishments such as writing lines "are just as crucial to an effective education as praising and rewarding good behaviour".
The "community service" sanctions could include picking up litter in the playgrounds, weeding, mopping dirty floors and removing graffiti.
Pupils could also be ordered to report to school early, attend weekend detentions, or forfeit privileges such as joining in a non-uniform day.
Mr Gove, who has been critical of "trendy" teaching methods, told The Mail on Sunday: "Writing lines is tedious, monotonous, boring - and a perfect punishment for bad behaviour.
"Children need to learn the importance of strong discipline and to understand that misbehaving at school has consequences.
"We are making crystal clear to teachers that telling children to write lines is an entirely appropriate punishment.
"These new guidelines will give teachers the confidence to be tougher on bad behaviour and ensure every child has the chance to learn in a controlled, orderly environment."
Sky's chief political correspondent Jon Craig said: "Mr Gove has blamed Labour for a decline in standards and says the party left office with '600 pages of confusing, dense, contradictory guidance for teachers on how to manage behaviour'.
"He calls it 'mind-numbing waffle' and says the new Tory guidance will be a handy 50 pages."
He added: "Labour have already hit back. Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt has said Cameron and Gove have dropped the ball on discipline, and their decision to allow unqualified teachers into the classroom on a permanent basis means we have teachers who lack the training required to keep order."
Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said many of the punishments mentioned by Mr Gove, such as litter picking, were already being used in a lot of schools.
He said that "sufficient training at teacher training level and access to ongoing support and training throughout their careers" was needed to make sure that teachers are confident when faced with difficult situations.
"Michael Gove's policy of abandoning QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) and running down local authority support services undermines both of these."
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