Detention for ‘coughing and having a loud chair’

Pindar School has angered parents with their detention policy. pic Richard  Ponter 152419f
Pindar School has angered parents with their detention policy. pic Richard Ponter 152419f

Parents at a Scarborough school claim their children are receiving detentions for moving their chairs too noisily and not using pencils properly.

Angry mums and dads say George Pindar School’s going “over the top” with detention, amid reports that around 10 per cent of students were held back on just one night.

They clashed with headteacher John Senior on Friday, when they complained children were being detained for coughing and even hiccuping after the school implemented a new system to tackle “low level” disruptive behaviour.

Mr Senior claims the school had to bring in the system as currently “behaviour is not good enough” at the school.

But one parent, who asked not to be named as to not identify their child, said the school’s “handing out detentions like sweets”.

“Some of the reasons are just so silly, like holding a pencil when you are not supposed to be holding a pencil or putting a chair under the table too loudly.

“Last Wednesday there were about 60 pupils kept back, the night after about 40, and some pupils are getting a detention nearly every night.

“We arrived back home on Thursday and there were three letters through our door, telling us about detentions that they’d already had.

“They can’t give them out quick enough.”

Another parent told The Scarborough News their child had been given multiple dentitions over “nothing”.

“It’s quite distressing and I’m worried if my child keeps getting detentions for silly reasons it’s going to have a major impact on them.

“Some of the children admittedly aren’t angels, but some of the reasons are just pathetic.”

At the Moor Lane school, if a child’s deemed to have misbehaved they are handed a warning called a C1.

Any further incidents and that’s upgraded to a C2 or C3, with more serious action - such as detention - taken.

In many of the cases parents have told The Scarborough News about, the initial act resulted in the pupil receiving a C1, which was then upgraded if the pupil challenged the decision.

At Friday’s gathering, some parents complained the new rules had stopped their child from attending prom, while others moaned teachers didn’t properly understand the new system.

In a statement, the school say they held an assembly to discuss the new rule - and that each tutor group spent 50 minutes in training.

The new measures follow the Government’s appointment of a behaviour tsar to tackle cheeky pupils.

And as he fielded angry parent’s questions, Mr Senior said nationally pupils were losing 38 days a year due to disruptive behaviour.

“For some students the new system with its new expectations has proved challenging.

“Because it is a new system we know there will be teething problems and we are always happy to discuss concerns with parents.

“We are motivated by the fact we want every child to succeed and that will only happen if we have the highest expectation and aspirations for every child – and I can make no apology for that.”

But Local UKIP councillor Jonathan Dodds, who spoke with parents on Friday, said: “It sounds over the top.

“If they are going to bring in a new set of rules like this, it has to be phased in over a long period of time.”