Unruly pupils face being isolated

UNRULY pupils face spending all day working and eating in silence in booths instead of being excluded from school under a new scheme.Those sent to the new “exclusion room” at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds are banned from speaking, eat their lunches alone and have separate break times to the rest of the school.

UNRULY pupils face spending all day working and eating in silence in booths instead of being excluded from school under a new scheme.

Those sent to the new “exclusion room” at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds are banned from speaking, eat their lunches alone and have separate break times to the rest of the school.

Equipped with surveillance cameras, the room is divided up into eight isolation booths and overseen by a senior member of staff.

The idea, according to headteacher Geoff Barton, is to give an alternative to fixed term exclusions. And if it proves successful Suffolk County Council could look at extending the exclusion room idea elsewhere.


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Mr Barton said the exclusion room meant badly behaved pupils simply “disappeared”.

He said: “For some students, being excluded meant sitting at home watching daytime television. A sanction that had more bite was for students to forfeit being able to speak to other people yet still having to do their work.

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“It is pretty austere; nobody wants to go into it. And it doesn't have any 'street cred' because you effectively disappear for a day.”

Patricia O'Brien, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for children, schools and young people's services, said: “It sounds an excellent idea. I would be very interested to hear how it develops and we may look at using it elsewhere.”

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