Tide to be turned on unruly Suffolk school pupils

TOUGH new rules are to be introduced to improve discipline in Suffolk's schools next year.

The Coalition Government is set to scrap the requirement for schools to give parents 24 hours notice if their child is given detention and teachers will be given more powers to search pupils.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous is backing the plans, claiming that unacceptable behaviour has 'became entrenched in Suffolk's schools over the last 13 years'.

Coming down hard on unruly pupils who disrupt lessons for others will make schools safer, according to the MP.

He said: 'I am very pleased the Government is introducing tough but fair new measures to improve discipline.

'Teachers should not have to deal with this kind of unacceptable behaviour so frequently. With the Government's new measures, we can really get to grips with the problem and improve behaviour in schools for everyone's benefit.'

Under the new rules, teachers facing allegations from pupils could also be granted anonymity and clear guidance will be set out explaining how much force can be used by those forced to intervene when violence erupts.

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However, education chief, Graham Newman, of Suffolk County Council, believes behaviour is not a major issue in the area.

'I have been into many schools and I have never seen a class that is out of control. We do get incidents from time to time but I don't think discipline is quite as wide-spread a problem as it once was.

'We now have special inclusion units within schools and people having a bad day or those who are not behaving well are sent there to calm down.

'That helps the general atmosphere in a lesson.'

However, he backed plans to scrap the 24 hour detention warning.

'We have the technology is place to text parents if their child has an unexplained absence and there is no reason why that should not be used more widely.'

Union leader Graham White, of the NUT, added: 'In a sense there has always been discipline issues in schools but staff have always had the authority and ability to give suitable sanctions.'

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