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Will 'new deal' improve school discipline?

10:24 UK time, Saturday, 2 October 2010

"No touch" rules discouraging teachers from restraining and comforting children are to be scrapped, as part of a "new deal" for teachers. Do you welcome the change?

Teachers would also be given the right to anonymity when faced by allegations from pupils, Education Secretary Michael Gove says in an interview with the Guardian.

Mr Gove promised to change the rules on school discipline, saying the current system was too complicated.

The education secretary said he did not believe staff should be able to hit children. But he said teachers need to know they can physically restrain pupils.

Are you a parent or a teacher? What do you think of these plans? Will they help teachers control unruly pupils? Or do you think there is a place for "no touch" rules?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    I don't think one could sensibly disagree with Gove's direction. It is what most people have been saying for years.

  • Comment number 2.

    Gove has only "Promised" to change the School Rules, that is a very far cry from actually changing any Rules in this Coalition Land of broken Promises.

  • Comment number 3.

    Sensible stuff. Giving teachers' anonymity until any allegations are proven is a particularly good move. Bit puzzled why Labour did not address these issues.

  • Comment number 4.

    Well done Michael Gove. Every teacher in the land must see you as a hero. I am the mother of a lovely,gifted teacher who has gradually become worn to a frazzle with so many'New Labour' directives. For so long teachers have needed a voice in power who can help give them a sense of self-worth after so much negativity and can make them feel appreciated. If you have done nothing else, Mr.Gove,you have levelled out the 'playing field' in the classroom.

  • Comment number 5.

    While I agree that there may be times when a teacher has to restrain a pupil I don't think there is any reason for a teacher to cuddle a child. I would have hated that as a child, whatever the circumstances and however young I was. Babies usually enjoy being cuddled by anyone but toddlers and older children would prefer to be cuddled by their parents or others that they feel close to. The best that teachers can do when a child is bullied, or injured is to deal with the situation competantly, that would be comfort enough for me.

  • Comment number 6.

    It will be very difficult for teachers to go back to the days when they had credibility and could expect respect from pupils. 'The die is cast' and 'the horse has bolted', etc, when it comes to discipline in schools. Too many parents have absolved their responsibilities when it comes to their childs behaviour in public and so a child no longer understands discipline.
    Children will alweays push the bounds of behaviour to the limits to see what they can get away with. Unless they know where the lines are they will grow up to be, (what we have a surplus of now in our society), a bunch of self opinionated barrack room lawyers.
    Okay, I do not agree that the cane should be used willy-nilly but some form of deterent has to be present.
    These balm pot ideas about controlling children and yet allowing them to call you by your Christian name has to be a recipe for disaster.

    Also, any school who allows parents to enter the premises and abuse a teacher needs to seriously examined as being fit for purpose. The criteria being that the Head should have control of his establishment the same way that a teacher has control over the teaching of children.

  • Comment number 7.

    2. At 10:58am on 02 Oct 2010, LondonHarris wrote:

    Gove has only "Promised" to change the School Rules, that is a very far cry from actually changing any Rules in this Coalition Land of broken Promises.


    Better a broken promise than none at all.

  • Comment number 8.

    theymust be able to control all children in school without fear of back lash from parents or anyone.
    good behaviour starts at home not at school
    it is the parent who are responsible for their up bringing

  • Comment number 9.

    Here's something that frustrates me to no end. The rules that make health and safety worse.

    The last few years in my children's local school, they had an ample supply of grit to clear the paths and make them safe and lots of parent's that would be willing to help.

    Were they allowed to use the grit? NO - not one grain!

    Something to do with the council and insurance. If a child slips over somewhere that's not gritted they are liable. Absolutely stupid.

    No just that, I myself and I saw several other children fall over on icy school paths and playground. And believe me, it hurts. If I break something I WILL be suing the school/council.

    Please sort this out Mr Cameron.

  • Comment number 10.

    I finished school a couple of years ago. I know teachers can't harm pupils, but I wasn't aware of a "no touch" rule. I've had hugs from teachers in both primary and secondary school (male and female teachers) and been hit round the head with paper.

  • Comment number 11.

    The abolition of the "No touch" rules in school will not affect me, I've never wanted to touch any child although I've encountered many who could do with a little bit of skin on skin contact from their parents.

    Knownought

  • Comment number 12.

    As a teacher, I cautiously welcome Michael Gove's comments and think this is a definite step in the right direction. It is about time Governments started to respect and treat teachers as professionals and trust the judgements that we have to make on a daily basis.

    I am cautious about how Gove is going to do this when, just like the current over zealous health and safety laws, what he actually needs to do is to tackle the lawyers and the litigation culture - not quite as simple. I am also mindful that this is a nice distraction to play to the majority, just the right thing to do to soften us up before the axe really starts to fall later on this month.

    However, credit to him for even raising the issue. There is no doubt that teachers need to be able to discipline effectively (and, on very rare occasions, that does mean physical removal from the class) without any fear of reprimand. Support from EVERYONE on this issue, including the parents, would be very welcome indeed.

  • Comment number 13.

    7. At 11:10am on 02 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    2. At 10:58am on 02 Oct 2010, LondonHarris wrote:

    Gove has only "Promised" to change the School Rules, that is a very far cry from actually changing any Rules in this Coalition Land of broken Promises.

    Better a broken promise than none at all.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Since any proof will be in the doing.

    Otherwise, he is simply Grandstanding for today to drum up a Headline before the Conservative Conference starts, for as I previously said - any proof WILL BE in the actural doing.

  • Comment number 14.

    I think this is a much needed step in the right direction. Pupils have become fully aware of the legislation and know that if touched, they can report the teacher concerned. Credibility, respect for teachers and boundaries are all mentioned above. Young people will always test the limits and boundaries of a situation in an attempt to assert themselves, it's what we are all programmed to do. This is a small step towards resetting a boundary.
    Being from the days when corporal punishment was allowed in schools (1970's) this did not mean hundreds of us lining up outside the headmasters office to be beaten, far from it. Very few punishments were delivered simply because we knew that if we did A, we got B. Hence very few people did A. This was a clear boundary that few crossed. Whilst I don't advocate the return of such a deterrent, we do need more 'consequences' in place to set more boundaries. Life is full of them.
    The compensation culture issue is one that needs to be contextualised but it seems that the government is also taking a close look at that one too.

  • Comment number 15.

    13. At 11:29am on 02 Oct 2010, LondonHarris wrote:

    7. At 11:10am on 02 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    2. At 10:58am on 02 Oct 2010, LondonHarris wrote:

    Gove has only "Promised" to change the School Rules, that is a very far cry from actually changing any Rules in this Coalition Land of broken Promises.

    Better a broken promise than none at all.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Since any proof will be in the doing.

    Otherwise, he is simply Grandstanding for today to drum up a Headline before the Conservative Conference starts, for as I previously said - any proof WILL BE in the actural doing.


    You will have 5 long years to see whether they keep all the promises contained within the coalition agreement document.

    Here's a link so that you keep track their progress.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8677933.stm

  • Comment number 16.

    This sort of links in the the H&S discussion. The main reason teachers are unwilling - or unable - to discipline children is because of fear of the parents accusing them of "inappropriate handling" or just going for the jugular and suing the school because their little darling is being victimised. The fact that their little darling is terrorising other pupils and is completely unruly due their lack of discipline in the home obviously doesn't come into it.

    I'll use the old mantra - I was caned at school, and it never did me any harm. (In fact I had much worse at home)

    I welcome any proposal to free them from the shackles of litigation. Teachers just need personal bodyguards to protect them from some parents..

  • Comment number 17.

    "Will 'New Deal' improve school discipline"? is the HYS question.

    Yes, teachers and pupils should have equal right of anonymity when accusations are made, during investigation etc.

    However, no pupil, teacher or parent has the right to assault - verbally or physically - anyone on school grounds.

    That problem should especially apply to pupil on pupil abuse, in all it's manifestations, which is the main problem for ALL schools discipline right now as well as the past.

    If the Head Teacher is unable to implement strategies to protect the safety and education aims of pupils AND teachers, who just want to get on with the purpose of being at school - then that Head Teacher should be sacked and NOT simply moved to another school to re-create their incompetence on other pupils and teachers elsewhere.

  • Comment number 18.

    15. At 11:44am on 02 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    13. At 11:29am on 02 Oct 2010, LondonHarris wrote:

    7. At 11:10am on 02 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    2. At 10:58am on 02 Oct 2010, LondonHarris wrote:

    Gove has only "Promised" to change the School Rules, that is a very far cry from actually changing any Rules in this Coalition Land of broken Promises.

    Better a broken promise than none at all.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Since any proof will be in the doing.

    Otherwise, he is simply Grandstanding for today to drum up a Headline before the Conservative Conference starts, for as I previously said - any proof WILL BE in the actural doing.

    You will have 5 long years to see whether they keep all the promises contained within the coalition agreement document.

    Here's a link so that you keep track their progress.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8677933.stm

    ---------------------------------------------------

    Just another wish list that has yet to have approval under Royal Assent, after being approved by Parliament.

    Althought, the Con-dems would dearly love to by-pass Parliament and Royal Approval if they can, with Legislation via the Back-Door.

  • Comment number 19.

    I am a parent I have 3 daughters and a son, I discipline my children so the school have never needed to.
    I would also add that I do not believe the school is solely responsible for the education of my children either.
    Of course teachers should be able to restrain violent aggressive children to protect others or that child itself.

    Mr Gove needs to realise the problem is not the children, they have learnt what is socially acceptable behaviour from the parents.

  • Comment number 20.

    Until there is a complete reinstatement of corporal punishment in schools all the variations on the wishy-washy liberal alternatives which have been attempted in the last 20 years since its abolition are similarly doomed to failure and its removal is the single most important reason for the complete disintegration of behaviour in our schools. And before the chattering classes trot out their usual nonsense about 'violence breeds violence' (their words not mine) if this is the case then why is there more present day violence in UK schools when this alleged 'violent' method of control is no longer an available sanction?

    Sadly the reality is we will still be having this debate in 10, 20 and 30 years time because the trendy educationalists who have the ear of ministers and Whiteall will continue to hold sway and determine government policy. The alternative of a little old-fashioned sense which would dramatically improve the situation in an instant will never see the light of day. The nation will continue to produce a conveyor belt of out of control teenagers without a semblance of respect for property and other people whilst politicians will repeatedly pledge to address the tackle the root causes but without the backbone to tackle the problem head on. Don't hold your breath or even hope for anything better.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    Being a fairly small (albeit cuddly) teacher of sixth form students there's no way I could hope to physically restrain an unruly one - they're all bigger than I am! - so I shall continue to use my best weapon: my tongue.

    A tongue which has maintained discipline at the high standard I like even with those post-16 students who are not the well-behaved enthusiastic seekers of knowledge you normally think of when sixth forms are mentioned, but those who for whatever reason have failed to achieve in secondary school and come to a college to resit GCSEs or take vocational course but who are not interested in learning. They will attempt to misbehave... but not in my classroom :)

  • Comment number 23.

    ''The current system is too complicated.''.

    In a school !!!

    ..and they've always denied dumbing down.

    Here we go again.
    Hug a Hoodie Prt.III
    More expense, training. Delivery, feedback. Retraining, feedback. Statistics, forms. Pilots, roll outs.
    Change of mind, reposition. Reapply. Oversight.
    Supervise, forms.
    Inspection, Audit. Presentation.

    Do you think my point is too complicated ???

    [Working At The Coalface Of The Coalition.]

  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    18. At 11:57am on 02 Oct 2010, LondonHarris wrote:

    15. At 11:44am on 02 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    13. At 11:29am on 02 Oct 2010, LondonHarris wrote:

    7. At 11:10am on 02 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    2. At 10:58am on 02 Oct 2010, LondonHarris wrote:

    Gove has only "Promised" to change the School Rules, that is a very far cry from actually changing any Rules in this Coalition Land of broken Promises.

    Better a broken promise than none at all.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Since any proof will be in the doing.

    Otherwise, he is simply Grandstanding for today to drum up a Headline before the Conservative Conference starts, for as I previously said - any proof WILL BE in the actural doing.

    You will have 5 long years to see whether they keep all the promises contained within the coalition agreement document.

    Here's a link so that you keep track their progress.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8677933.stm

    ---------------------------------------------------

    Just another wish list that has yet to have approval under Royal Assent, after being approved by Parliament.

    Althought, the Con-dems would dearly love to by-pass Parliament and Royal Approval if they can, with Legislation via the Back-Door.


    Why by-pass parliament when you have a majority? You do talk some rubbish but then you haven't got the government you wanted so it is to be expected.

  • Comment number 26.

    Children are getting away with all sorts of things these days because of the mamby pamby, nose in the air, children can do no wrong attitudes, teachers need to command respect from students, all areas of children legislation needs looking at, this may diminish some of the problems with troublesome teenagers if their formative years are a bit more strict

  • Comment number 27.

    For once I have to agree wholeheartedly with this government's decision. Bring it on. At last some good sense. Let's just hope they mean it.

  • Comment number 28.

    If this new deal is implemented then i think it`s a step in the right direction. Most kids behave in school, but there`s a minority who consistantly misbehave and it`s these (and their parents) who need to be targeted. If they insist on being disruptive then they have to realise there are consequences for such actions. Such children usually have parents of similar attitudes and both should be given short shrift. But i think this new deal doesn`t go far enough. Bring back corporal punishment. When you allow children and parents to dictate in schools it`s a receipe for disaster. If parents of said children don`t like disipline in school there`s always home education as an alternative, but somehow i doubt if this option would be taken up.

  • Comment number 29.

    It will certainly improve discipline. I hope the promise isn't broken. Anybody who cries 'what about their human rights' in light of this proposal needs to be removed from our society.

  • Comment number 30.

    The government needs to give power back to the teachers and it needs to do it now. Over the last 20 years our government and local authorities have eroded any control our teachers had over the pupil, the tables have been turned, it is now the teacher who is scared of the pupils when it should actually be the other way around.

    We are breading kids who are above the law both within and outside of school, teachers are scared, old age pensioners are scared and any adult who dares to question their ethics or antics is either beaten or killed in the process, of course it’s time for change, anyone with half a brain can see what’s going on so why cant our Oxford / Cambridge graduate MPs see the same?

    Every kid needs discipline and guidance but sadly it's lacking, this is because our government is making life so easy for them as offenders, attacking every authority or parent that acts in the interest of society, we are being left with the living hell that our governors will never encounter because they live behind the constant protection of the taxpayer, the police and who ever else they can get their hands on to make their lives so sweet.

    Get real it’s time to act so yes lets see our teachers dishing out some authority, lets see pupils shaking in their trousers peeing their pants, lets see parents getting behind their teachers instead of attacking them lets bring this continuing regime to it’s knees.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    "2. At 10:58am on 02 Oct 2010, LondonHarris wrote:

    Gove has only "Promised" to change the School Rules, that is a very far cry from actually changing any Rules in this Coalition Land of broken Promises."

    I haven't seen too much evidence of broken promises. The tax threshold increases, scrapping of ID cards and many other pledges are in the process of happening, but they take a bit more than the 5 months the coalition has been in power to get through parliament.

    You just seem like the typical spoilt voter who didn't get the Labour government he/she wanted and now rails against the coalition parties for trying to sort the mess out. And my respect for both coalition parties rises day by day and that for the Labour party falls day by day.

    As a teacher, this announcement by Michael Gove is manna from heaven. It actually shows that the Coalition is listening to the profession and is prepared to undo the years of mindless over-regulation and micromanagement the last lot piled on us.

    Can I now suggest to Mr Gove what his next act should be: scrap OFSTED, the most incompetent and useless organisation in Britain and the biggest obstacle to proper teaching and learning.

  • Comment number 33.

    Paul J Weighell wrote

    One suspects that the rise in anti-social behaviour of the young is directly correlated to the removal of adequate conditioning methods from teaching during the 1970s. If correct, then we now have both the theory and the experimental proof. Convincing liberal minded but unscientifically trained politicians may take longer.

    I agree well said Paul.

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    I remember a Scout leader; some forty odd years ago, whacking a scout on the back of the head with a rolled up newspaper after being caught red-handed pickpocketing from another child. Needless to say, that lad never done it again and went on to become a respected naval officer, who is now retired. That child incidentally, was me.

    It's high time the government supported teachers and youth workers and give them the necessary means to properly discipline children without fear of recrimination or prosecution.

  • Comment number 36.

    What's the point, if the teacher can't get a child to behave, then the child should be kicked out of the class and if necessary the school until the parents take responsibility for the behaviour. By the same token , if a teacher cannot maintain discipline then he or she should seek employment in the private sector where they like to claim they would be better off,( if they can find a job ).Maybe when the teacher is allowed to heat the child's hand with the old tawse, discipline will improve.

  • Comment number 37.

    Right to anonymity? In what manner and to what level? Do it, but do it discretely; Take care to ensure, that, the limitations imposed do not encourage child-abuse, like it happened in the churches. As for discipline: inclusion of one period on discipline/ethics, in the school curriculum, at least up to the 5th class or std, must be made mandatory.

  • Comment number 38.

    Does this included child abuse after all the church has had it for many years. We send our children to school to be taught and to be socialized we do not send them to be abused by the teachers. My children went to a private school and the man that run that was a nasty selfish man who beat up his family and my children and other children under his care and was paid for it these are the school that should be looked into not just the state school and all teachers and staff in the school should be checked by the police like I was to work with the old and those who came out of prison. And not employed if you do not have the right stamp after all the man who killed those two children was a caretaker in a school if. Not all teacher like nurses and doctors like those they care for.

  • Comment number 39.

    About bloomin time! When I was at school (80's) corporal punishment had all but been phased out, but the threat of it was all too real. Rumours would go around that "so&so still gave the cane" we were also terrified that if we misbehaved our parents would be called. Same with truancy, in my day it just wasn't an option, if you didn't turn up to class your parents were called, seems that no longer happens.
    Hopefully this will stem the cries of "I know my rights" from the yoof of today. Yes indeed little one, you may know your rights but you appear to know sod all about your responsibilities! It's about time kids re-learned the fact that if you want respect you have to earn it by offering others the same courtesy, you do not automatically get it by being born & you certainly don't get it if you behave like an idiot who believes they are the centre of the universe.
    As a start I'd recommend educating the parents first, many of them are as bad as, if noy worse than, the students & don't exactly set a fine example of how to be a productive, decent member of society. Perhaps we could bring back corporal punishment for feckless parents!

  • Comment number 40.

    I think whatever systems used to work should be re-introduced and education left free of govt. meddling. Mind if folk were brighter where would that leave politics.....

  • Comment number 41.

    I agree with this move as a step in the right direction of common sense. Whether or not it will improve discipline in schools is entirely another matter given the amount of legislation now in place that 'protects' young people nowadays - and dont they just know it! Another example - similar to 'Health & Safety' -of too much law and too little common sense.

  • Comment number 42.

    What rules is Mr Gove going to set which will stop parents from suing the school or council?
    The cost of litigation will very often mean that it makes sense to settle out of court thus encouraging others to sue.
    Its the fear of litigation, and its cost, that is the root of many of society's problems.

  • Comment number 43.

    Lot of fuss about nothing. The key piece of information is that Mr Gove is saying this just before the Conservative Party conference. Given his past performance he needs to come up with something that will appeal. The funny thing is he has chosen to rehash an Ed Balls initiative. Yes, check it out and you find that clarifying the position of teachers re these issues arose out of an inquiry undertaken by the previous Government. Very laudable.
    However, discipline policies are the responsibilty of individual schools as set out by their heads and governors. The law on these issues has changed little. Teachers are in loco parentis and should act as a reasonable parent would. They also have the right to use reasonable force. What is reasonable would be decided by a court if challenged as it always has. Corporal punishment is the one exception since it is legally not permitted. Mr Gove has specifically stated that he does not want the return of corporal punishment in school so his position is a continuation of the present situation and entirely unremarkable.

  • Comment number 44.

    "Will 'new deal' improve school discipline"?

    Since my post on this HYS topic, I am thankful to see that 'Magi Tatcher' and 'London Harris' has spilled over onto this site question too, because there is a need for a wider view required.

    You two should focus on contributing, rather than fighting each other, because you have more to offer individually. Simply put, I get the impression you are both on HYS because you genuinely care enough about the questions posed? BTW:

    'Megan' has made relevant points, and even me on this question - perhaps you can too, because, thus far, it certainly needs it?

  • Comment number 45.

    The side quote from Carolyne Willow of Children's Rights Alliance for England :"Of course teachers, like any other group have the right to fair treatment and due process, but let's have a balanced debate and not one that starts off with children as the problem” must surely be a nominee for Most Ridiculous Comment Of The Year.

  • Comment number 46.



    Yes - at last. Children are young when they start school. Most psychologists agree kids formative experiences are complete by the age of 5 to 7. Imagine hurting yourself as a child at primary school and finding no adult present comforts you and you have to wait for your parent to turn up while you nurse a broken arm or blood seeps through a sticking plaster all over your clothing. That’s what currently happens. That is more damaging than the minute risk that the teacher who gives comfort is a paedophile. It’s about time we stopped structuring the whole of society in a vain attempt to stop the extremely rare event occurring. The rare event is the risk we should take and, in return, we’d get back the benefit of positive interactions with the vast majority of humanity.

  • Comment number 47.

    It's funny how they can put these ridiculous rules and practices into action so quickly but it always takes so long to get rid of them.

    I don't trust the Tories.

  • Comment number 48.

    "Until there is a complete reinstatement of corporal punishment in schools all the variations on the wishy-washy liberal alternatives which have been attempted in the last 20 years since its abolition are similarly doomed to failure and its removal is the single most important reason for the complete disintegration of behaviour in our schools."

    Yeah, beacuse savagely beating children is the way forwards isnt it? If I found out s teacher had ever hit any child of mine there would be hell to pay. If discipline is so lacking in schools over the past 20 years, where has everyone recruited their workforce from? Why is society not in complete anarchy? Oh its because there isn't really a problem, its just the tabliod media using the bogeyman story of yoofs gone mad to scare the middle classes witless.

  • Comment number 49.

    Teachers tend to be educated but lack intelligence, this was certainly true when I was at school and a consequence of this was that children were very often given physical punishment that was undeserved. O.K there's no lasting damage, the lasting damage is caused by not allowing teachers to physically punish children who are wreaking havoc in a school.

  • Comment number 50.

    Sounds sensible to me - why was it ever prevented? More nanny state stuff I guess. It leaves teachers free to decide what is appropriate. If there are abuses you deal with the individual problems.

    Comments like #2 leave me shaking my head in disbelief - while trying to make sense of it. Did you drop in from a neighbouring planet to read the news?

    And #5 a cuddle in this sense is more of an extended hug along the lines of "There, there" not snuggling up on the sofa to watch a film for God's sake. When a child skins a knee, for example, they run to an adult's arms for comfort and it is the most natural thing in the world for a decent human being to scoop them up, stroke their back or the back of their head and mutter consoling words. It's not paedophilia it's common decency.

    Our society has become totally paranoid about paedophilia to the extent that normality is banned along with abnormality and when over 99% of such behaviour is perfectly normal and beneficial... how can that be a good thing?

  • Comment number 51.

    It won't work. Some kids are massive these days and can easily defend themselves and there's the chance that the rest of the class might join in too.

  • Comment number 52.

    There is no general rule currently banning teachers from touching children. However, it may exist in some places as a local rule, so he is presumably saying that this should change.

  • Comment number 53.

    A minor tweak which will mean nothing when the Tories once again set out to destroy comprehensive type free education by cutting budgets hard. I don't trust the tories to run a kebab shop let alone the country (hmm must be hungry right now). If this seems harsh I remember my old comprehensive under the tories, days lost to faulty heating, dripping roofs and no blinds for south facing classrooms in summer. The irony is at the time it all seemed quite natural and its NOT.

    The tories are quite good at picking out Labours madness and removing it. But then so is everyone after Labour lost all touch from reality and allowed these bigger set of self interested-morons to get in.

    New government, a different set of attacks on people with new candy floss policies. This two party system needs to end... hard and fast. Time for democracy.

  • Comment number 54.

    About time! The rule should never have beem imposed in the first place!

    The state takes children away from parents five days a week during which time they are under the state's control.

    While they are under the state's control, their heads are filled with state propaganda and the state, being a soul-less psychopathic entity cares not a jot for the children or any other persons of any age.

    So ... while a child is under the control of the state, our teachers then have the responsibility to treat children as human beings, as people. This means showing Love and care when needed.

    The "No-touch" rules means the children do not feel cared for at school, and what is the natural response?

    "You don't care about me, so up yours, I don't care about you" with the resulting so-called "challenging behaviour."

    What we have is the psychopathic entity, the State, using the "No-touch" rule to enforce psychopathic behavior upon teachers.

    The results are obvious and are to be expected. It's hardly PhD level psychology, is it? (Not that a psychology degree is worth anything, judging by the bilge which I hear coming from the mouths of professors of psychology).

    Does anyone really think that such a stupid rule was imposed without thought, without understanding of the consequences?

    It is all part of the deliberate dumbing down of society and folks had better wake up to it before they are so completely dumbed down it'll be too late for them to wake up.

  • Comment number 55.

    What if children don't want to be touched? I know I didn't.

  • Comment number 56.

    "Yeah, beacuse savagely beating children is the way forwards isnt it?"

    Another typical and completely misguided riposte from the bad-behaviour apologists who cannot understand (or simply choose not to) the difference between controlled discipline and a 'beating'.

    Speaking as someone who was once kicked unconscious in the street by a gang of yobs I can assure you I understand the difference between the two. And those responsible for the unprovoked assault would certainly have benefitted from some such correcting influence in their formative years to instil in them the simple difference between right and wrong.

  • Comment number 57.

    Whilst I agree that there has to be a change to the no touch policy I have a few reservations
    1Despite what we read in the media many state schools have a very good discipline record and could be used as examples of good practice
    2If teachers are able to use restraint how will this be practically implemented not all teachers could take on a aggressive 15 year old, do they have a panic button which calls a team of specially trained staff or a school security guard
    3 Unfortunately any restrait would have to be under strict guidelines and guidelines is a dirty word.
    4 It is often said that improving the schools buildings conditions will lead to better behaviour , but Mr Gove has just cut this initiative.
    5 Ill disciplined children could be removed completely to refferal units manned by specialists, but worryingly I see a proposal that these units could be transferred out of local authority control to interested parties.

    But please people no move back to corporal punishment
    Headline 9 year old hit at least 6 times by adult with stick causing extreme pain and severe bruising. It is said that there was very little justification for this attack except a small amount of chat with friends who were not singled out in this attack. It is said the individual will carry a resentment to this for the next 40 years or more. Teachers must have more power over pupils but must never be allowed to give out unregulated corporal punishment again.

  • Comment number 58.

    Oh, I was only thinking of comforting touches. In the case of disruptive children, yeah, teachers should be able to physically remove one from a classroom if the child is resistant. It doesn't take much force though. I'm afraid that some teachers will go too far.

    I had a headmaster who was disgusting. He would push children around smack them and pull their hair for minor reasons. He was shockingly aggressive. This was in 1988.

  • Comment number 59.

    Well let's not go back to the 1950's when you got 'thumped' by teachers for not being able to do maths....and I mean knocked to the floor by a blow to the head.
    When it was commonplace to be dragged out of line by the scruff of the neck and 'thumped' before being sent for the cane for something that the teacher thought he saw but actually happened behind you...and if you dared to explain you got more 'thumping'.
    The only ones who were immune from such treatment were the gypsy kids who the teachers were frightened of because of the swift retaliation that would have come their way!

  • Comment number 60.

    "Richard Smart wrote:

    What if children don't want to be touched? I know I didn't.
    "

    Me neither - very much so. So I behaved. Which is rather the point.

  • Comment number 61.

    7. At 11:10am on 02 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    2. At 10:58am on 02 Oct 2010, LondonHarris wrote:

    Gove has only "Promised" to change the School Rules, that is a very far cry from actually changing any Rules in this Coalition Land of broken Promises.

    Better a broken promise than none at all.
    ………………………………………
    How do you work that one out!
    Anyway, restraint is already acceptable,
    http://www.suffolknut.org.uk/restraint.htm
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/apr/05/teachers-can-use-force-says-balls


  • Comment number 62.

    Make sense, let's just hope it leads to a return back to traditional teaching methods, although one can't help but feel the PC/Human rights brigade are going to be up in arms.

  • Comment number 63.

    A good clip round the earhole is a good philosophy

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    About time, now does this apply to clipping them around the ear outside school.

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    Something to satisfy the traditional supporters of each half of the Coalition: The Tories can indulge in a bit child "restraining" then the Liberals can have a collective hug.

  • Comment number 68.

    Nobel Prize Winner Ivan Pavlov described the natural physical conditioning processes for behaviour and the nearer education systems follow those principles the better the quality of outcome.

  • Comment number 69.

    This is good news. However, I don't think it will work. Firstly, teachers have been brainwashed into thinking that touching or restraining a child is wrong. Secondly, if any of us tried it, you can bet that we won't get any back up if there is a complaint from a parent - even with the new rules. Restraining a child will be OK but you can be sure that we will have been deemed to have restrained the child in the "wrong" or "inappropriate" way. I don't think any of us will risk it.

    The only thing that will improve discipline in schools is to do away with Inclusion. Any teacher will tell you that this initiative was the single most important factor in the decline in discipline in schools. When a small but influential minority of disturbed children were allowed to join ordinary schools, the trouble began. They would be much better served by being placed in specialist units where there would be small class sizes and specially trained teachers who would offer a more appropriate curriculum. This would leave the well behaved majority with less disturbance in their lessons and would also please their parents.

    The trouble is, it is politically incorrect to suggest this move. Again, we have all been brainwashed into thinking that all children, regardless of the severity of their problems, should be allowed to have equal access to the education services that were designed for the majority. I can tell you that they do not usually mix with the majority within schools but only with each other. However, some of their extreme behaviour does rub off on the normal "naughties", especially when they see these children seeming "to get away with it" because, of course, "special compensation is to be given for their difficulties". So much for inclusion.

    Will I be restraining children - you bet your life I won't! The real causes of bad behaviour need to be dealt with and teachers given real power to deal with it - not just sound bites to make the Government look good.

  • Comment number 70.

    55. At 3:43pm on 02 Oct 2010, Richard Smart wrote:
    What if children don't want to be touched? I know I didn't.

    I'll echo that. OK, so I didn't want to get slapped, but I didn't want to get hugged or a hand put on my shoulder either. Creepy.

  • Comment number 71.

    > > 60. At 4:07pm on 02 Oct 2010, Richard wrote:
    > > "Richard Smart wrote:

    > > What if children don't want to be touched? I know I didn't."

    > Me neither - very much so. So I behaved. Which is rather the point.

    Actually some children behave well without having to fear being "touched". Anyway, I was thinking of comforting touching.

  • Comment number 72.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 73.

    Yet another excellent idea from the coalition government.

    Empowering teachers rather than children is something that has been long overdue, but I should like teachers to have the power to punish misbehaving pupils with the cane as well. In my time, it was not unknown for a teacher to use a strap, his fist or, in one instance, a hammer, but that's probably going a bit too far for today's nanny state and little darlings.

  • Comment number 74.

    Labour's loony ideas on discipline have made many schools unmanagable.

    Labour was so obsessed with grades and targets that it lost sight of the the other role of schools to socialise children.

    All their touchy feely policies did was to transfer the control of some schools to the disruptive children and made the cost of educating our children more expensive..

  • Comment number 75.

    Just a thought on behavioural conditioning. If an individual sees the reaction to their behaviur from society (as represented by the School) is violence (ie a clip round the ear) then the coditioning is that violence is an acceptable reaction . The humanist approach would be to point out to the individual the error of their ways and highlight the benefits of improved behaviour. Yeah I know sounds great but in practice?

  • Comment number 76.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 77.

    The main cause for concern should have been the not inconsiderable number of teachers who coast through their working lives, giving no more than the minimum. The ones who think they are too important to do such menial tasks as administration or caring for the basic needs of children. The ones who openly voice bigoted, sexist and racist opinions to each other and in front of children. The ones who are not prepared to challenge children and give them disciplenary boundaries and the ones who are blighted by inefficient and uncaring leadership.

  • Comment number 78.

    Three words that have become redundent in the English launguge:-
    Discipline and Common Sense! You can't have one without the other!
    So they have gone the way of the Dodo!

  • Comment number 79.

    Common sense from Gove. Well done! What on earth is the Children's Rights Alliance? It sounds completely barmy.

  • Comment number 80.

    Good and while we're on the subject how about bringing back the cane? Time and time again we've heard that most of us got the cane at some time or other and it didn't do us any harm. In fact it almost always improved discipline and someone I know said he enjoyed it so much he went back for another 6 of the best!

  • Comment number 81.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 82.

    Here we go, the bash em brigade, clip round the ear mob, any excuse to endorse violence, we just love it. There was a lad in my year, 1973, along with a few others, but this one in particular was forever in trouble, got the cane numerous times, left school, ended up in prison. Another, same story, ends up murdering someone, stabbing, yep they also had knives back then! Another, gullible, followed the pack, left school got a job and got on with it. Punishing by violence does not stop or prevent outcomes. If someone is that way inclined that’s what they do regardless. The amount of times I saw lads put on pedestals for kicking back, just as today with ASBO etc. Moronic behaviour is part of our green and pleasant British culture, it was the same then, and it’s the same now. Bash em for all I care but it wont make a blind bit of difference, accept make a few likeminded adults feel better about themselves!

  • Comment number 83.

    33. At 1:15pm on 02 Oct 2010, Steve wrote:
    Paul J Weighell wrote

    One suspects that the rise in anti-social behaviour of the young is directly correlated to the removal of adequate conditioning methods from teaching during the 1970s. If correct, then we now have both the theory and the experimental proof. Convincing liberal minded but unscientifically trained politicians may take longer.

    I agree well said Paul.


    i agree also well put paul, i attended primary school in the late 70's which had corporal punishment, and secondary school that did not and from then abusiveness and arrogance in youth has ballooned

  • Comment number 84.

    i think its a stupid idea to be honest.
    I mean there was a teacher at my school that kicked and slapped students and she didnt have any sort of permission to touch us so what do you think they'll do when they know they can.
    Its rubbish.

  • Comment number 85.

    'No-touch' rules defy common sense, and must presumably have been drawn up by people who have no understanding of children. Thank goodness that at last we have someone in government who will question these nonsensical rules.

  • Comment number 86.

    It would make a big difference if they were allowed to "touch" their behinds with the slipper, cane or strap and instill some discipline.
    Spare the rod, spoil the child.....how true.

  • Comment number 87.

    Until children have respect for themselves, as well as other people and property, most forms of discipline will be a waste of time. Maybe, the old forms of correction may work, but , there again, you will have most parents up in arms about there little horrors being disciplined that way. In general, it did the the much older and less elderly generations the world of good. We respected people, property and each other! Unfortunately for them and us, the younger generation have NO respect for anything or any-one. Bring back the Cain and "cat of nine tails".

  • Comment number 88.

    83. At 6:55pm on 02 Oct 2010, th3_0r4cl3 wrote:
    33. At 1:15pm on 02 Oct 2010, Steve wrote:
    Paul J Weighell wrote
    One suspects that the rise in anti-social behaviour of the young is directly correlated to the removal of adequate conditioning methods from teaching during the 1970s. If correct, then we now have both the theory and the experimental proof. Convincing liberal minded but unscientifically trained politicians may take longer.

    I agree well said Paul.
    i agree also well put paul, i attended primary school in the late 70's which had corporal punishment, and secondary school that did not and from then abusiveness and arrogance in youth has ballooned
    …………………………………………………..
    Not true, you have forgotten that's all. I was at school in the 60’s and 70’s, everyone feared teachers, the cane was used regularly, board dusters thrown, pupils manhandled out of class rooms, pupils swearing at teachers, answering back. Junior school 1969, a teacher lined us all up and began administering ruler against knuckles, I told her where to go! 1971, pupils drunk, smoking and getting pregnant! 1973, school battle, various injuries with bike chain wielding nutter/pupil! Bullying totally rife, the three Asian lads were totally victimised daily with racist insults, two disabled lads (polio) ridiculed constantly. On the school bus, pupils receiving regular beatings. Walking home from school pupils attacked by pupils from other schools. Teachers ridiculing “slow” pupils in front of class. Teachers bullying for no apparent reason! Cane administered daily, this snap shot changed nothing. By 1975 drugs were on the scene.
    Have a watch of the DVD We Are the Lambeth Boys (1958), extra on Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), (originally an X, now PG, but that’s another story). We Are the Lambeth Boys is brilliant, all the behaviours are there, the arrogance of youth etc, but, and it’s a big but, there is one huge difference, the documentary is based around a community youth club. Where they could socialise, chat, have discussions, dances, and trips away. It was a structure, where the teenagers were actively involved in its running and organising. I watched in amazement, these teenagers were no different at all to my own 17yo; only she has nowhere to go! And in big way it was a huge relief to know. There is way too much over the top propaganda about youth culture, when in reality being young has not changed, it is the environment that's changed.

  • Comment number 89.

    Hooray for a bit of common sense at last. Let's hope and see if the promise is fulfilled. I said in a previous comment on another topic a few months ago that if I saw a child fall over and was crying I would automatically go to comfort that child. Now, hopefully, I can do that very thing without being afraid of being sued or worse by parents.
    As far as school discipline is concerned, I believe things started going from bad to worse when pupils were allowed to call teachers by their Christian names. Even in school at the age of 16 our teachers were always Miss or Mrs. followed by their surnames. Things have relaxed in church now with respect to our ministers and we call them by their Christian names - at their invitation. But if they preferred the older formality I would have no difficulty in reverting to it. Respect still matters these days, as do good manners.
    As far as going back to the cane - I don't think this will ever happen. Times have moved on from my schooldays and yes, I did have the cane once or twice - and it never did me any harm either. Once I was reprimanded and humiliated by a teacher in school having been falsely accused of chewing gum during the lesson, and that was the only time my mother ever went to the school to see the teacher. As she knew, I was no angel [is any child?] but she knew I was innocent this time because sweets were rationed and I hated chewing gum. The teacher even made me open my mouth and she looked inside while the whole class laughed. My mother was really angry about this and even went to the headmaster who backed her up. When I was justly punished, my parents only said 'you must have done something to deserve it - what was it?' and they were only satisfied when they got the whole story out of me. And then there was usually some kind of follow up punishment and an instruction to go back to the school and apologise to the teacher the following day! Was that hard? You bet it was, but as an adult I thanked my parents for it and have never regretted it.
    No, we don't want the bad old days back - but good new days with common sense and respect.

  • Comment number 90.

    About time this crazy "no touch" rule was dropped and we employed "Mr and Mrs Sensible" again. Both teachers and youth leaders should have much more freedom of action without for ever looking over their shoulder to see if some "Mr & Mrs do gooder" is in the vicinity.
    On the other hand we only last week had BBC debates regarding ADHD with some suggestion that unruly behaviour can be medically controlled presumably without the need for restraint, dream on! Most adults and parents with any involvement with youngsters know that a pat on the back or an arm round the shoulder works wonders when a youngster is hurt or distressed. Well done Mr Gove, go for it, you know opposition is very much in the minority and we live in a democratic place, where majority should once again rule.

  • Comment number 91.

    First sensible thing Gove's said.

  • Comment number 92.

    The young generation don't have any respect aren't disciplined etc etc
    We seem to be demonising a whole generation here.

    Most school children are well behaved and just want to get on. The tabloid press report on the excess of the few making people believe the exceptions are the norm.

  • Comment number 93.

    While I think that this is a move in the right direction to improving discipline in the classroom and it could go futher(teachers should be given the same protection as nurses from physical and verbal abuse IMO, there needs to be asked certain questions that nearly all the posters above have missed, that is the compare and contract Britain with other countries.

    Sweden for example has tougher anti-cruelty to children laws and their parenting style emphasises dialogue and many of the things thats some posters would consider 'whooly liberal minded thinking'

    Why is it that it works for them and not for Great Britain? Are british kids naturally more feral? Or could it be the inherent disdain of intellectualism and education in British culture that encourages children to misbehave in the classroom?

  • Comment number 94.

    Oh dear me, the hanging & flogging brigade have turned out on force on this HYS. Do you not realise that Gove is an idiot and anything he says must/should/will be ignored?

    He surely is the short priced favourite to get the chop in the first Cabinet reshuffle so disregard him until Dave gives him the Spanish archer.

  • Comment number 95.

    As a former teacher and deputy head, whose career started in the days of corporal punishment and ended in the days of "no contact", I welcome this relaxation of the rules. Anyone with knowledge of children knows that there are times when a restraining or comforting arm is what is needed and acceptable to the boy or girl concerned.

    The idea that it's a licence to return to caning or, worse, random brutality, is scare-mongering. I started infant school in 1947 and went through the 1950s grammar school system. I experienced first-hand both those sorts of 'discipline' and see nothing of the kind in Gove's sensible suggestion.



  • Comment number 96.

    It may help - certainly the young folk are badly behaved, but why is it that the only solution the sparkling geniuses in Whitehall can ever think off is to beat peeps with big sticks? The truth is, you see, from someone who has worked with disaffected youths, is that these kids are disillusioned. Many of them have learning or psychological problems, but are lead by the peeps in power to think they must be squeaky-pure and degree-educated cattle, oops I mean good citizens. When they thinks, 'This is not good, I don't want to be a cog in the nasty capitalist machine', or, 'I can't do this it's too hard', they fool around to look 'cool' and save face and kill the boredom of apparently fruitless struggle. Many have emotional problems, with broken homes. Why are so many homes broken? Because government peeps encourage competition and like squeezing cattle, I mean er citizens, to get them working ultra-hard to feed the fatty-cats. When peeps, being human, can't cope with the deluded maniacal vision of non-ideality that the government dreams of, they get stressed and their families collapse and their children hurt like they have been abused, but their abusers are the peeps in power you see. They are rarely bad kids, however, just hurt. Hurt because human beings cannot live by bread alone you see, but all the government wants them to live off are crumbs, like might feed bread mould and maggots.

  • Comment number 97.

    7. At 11:10am on 02 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    2. At 10:58am on 02 Oct 2010, LondonHarris wrote:

    Gove has only "Promised" to change the School Rules, that is a very far cry from actually changing any Rules in this Coalition Land of broken Promises.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Better a broken promise than none at all.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    How do you work that one out exactly Mrs Tatcher?

    In this case I hope you are wrong Londonharris, and they do deliver. (Not that I have much faith in this ConDem 'coalition')

  • Comment number 98.

    "No touch" - no brains! Just another one of countless little building blocks that together make a perfect broken society and destroy what they pretend to protect: The quality of life!

  • Comment number 99.

    Michael Gove, a Scot in charge of policies that only affect England. Sound familiar?

  • Comment number 100.

    97. At 8:11pm on 02 Oct 2010, Joe wrote:

    7. At 11:10am on 02 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    2. At 10:58am on 02 Oct 2010, LondonHarris wrote:

    Gove has only "Promised" to change the School Rules, that is a very far cry from actually changing any Rules in this Coalition Land of broken Promises.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Better a broken promise than none at all.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    How do you work that one out exactly Mrs Tatcher?

    In this case I hope you are wrong Londonharris, and they do deliver. (Not that I have much faith in this ConDem 'coalition')
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Maybe the promise has a "cast iron guarantee" attached?

 

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