Our Schools Are Now Hellish Prisons: Under a new bill, 'Parents face weekend detentions with their kids', 'Teachers will be given the legal right to detain kids on any day they choose, with or without parents’ consent', and 'Parenting orders, backed by the threat of a £500 fine, will be slapped on families of kids who skip detention'Yobs' mums face sin-bins, By DAVID WOODING, Whitehall Editor
Feb. 27, 2006
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PARENTS face weekend detentions with their kids under a tough crackdown on classroom rowdies.
Unruly pupils will have to attend catch-up lessons while their mums and dads get a lecture on how to control them.
The move is among sweeping powers to tackle problem children in the Education Bill unveiled tomorrow.
Teachers will be given the legal right to detain kids on any day they choose, with or without parents’ consent.
Education Secretary Ruth Kelly wants heads to set up Saturday sin-bins for bullies, yobs and truants.
Offenders will be forced to turn up in full school uniform, with a parent, for two hours’ tuition. Ms Kelly said it would give staff more authority and raise standards.
She said: “It only takes a handful of poorly behaved pupils to make life difficult for staff and disrupt the education of others. The message to the minority is clear — disrupt the class and you will disrupt your weekend.”
Parenting orders, backed by the threat of a £500 fine, will be slapped on families of kids who skip detention.
Headteachers are also set to get more control over the fate of excluded pupils. They will be able to summon parents of kids barred for bad behaviour for an interview before they are re-admitted.
Another measure allows teachers to seize mobile phones, iPods and games consoles if they are used in class.
And their powers to punish kids will extend to those who misbehave on the way to and from school. The tough rules are sure to win widespread support among unions, Tory MPs, and even Labour rebels.Weekend detention was pioneered by Stockwell Park High School, South London, with astonishing results. Truancy rates have slumped while exam results have soared in four years.
Since the 2002 launch, the number of pupils getting five or more good GCSEs has risen from 26 to 58 per cent. Half-days lost through truancy fell eight per cent.
# DEFIANT Ruth Kelly has ruled out more concessions to more than 100 Labour rebels against school reforms.
She is “confident” of getting the Bill through. It gives private firms, faith groups and parents the power to set up and run state schools.
Sources expect the Government to win with a majority of about 12, by relying on Tory support.
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