Taking school discipline in a UK primary school to a MUCH higher level!

Among all the debates and arguments surrounding education, it is not often that one comes across a report on the subject that makes you cringe in disbelief, but a news report from the BBC on the 13th March succeeded in bringing about this result.

A new approach to maintaining discipline in primary schools?

St Joseph's school Devizes

© BBC 2015

It alleged in the BBC article that the head of a certain Roman Catholic primary school in Wilshire on one occasion presumably found herself in a position where she was for some reason, unable to control the children in her care.  Perhaps naturally, when all else had failed, she decided to call on a higher authority to help her to regain discipline among the children.  But it is the alleged action that she took to achieve this objective that really defies belief. Apparently, the Head made the children lie on the floor, and told them that she was going to “ring God and tell him that they had been naughty“, which the report says is exactly what she did.  Presumably the impression she gave to the children was that God would punish them for their ‘bad behaviour’.

The serious issues behind this insane event

 However, which to us adults this action may be considered laughable, not least because God was unlikely to answer his mobile, the event gives rise to some very serious issues, which need to be considered during the investigation that has subsequently been instigate  the the schools regulator, Ofsted.

The most important areas of concern are that essentially, in any other situation, the actions of the teacher would be regarded as a form of bullying. It certainly had a similar effect as many parents confirm their child had been traumatised by the event.  Teaching staff have a duty to safeguard the children in their care, and that does not include using threats of this nature, especially with children of this young age.  Secondly, and of equal importance, is the impact this situation on teaching children about religion, and Christianity in particular. The theme of Christianity is supposed to be founded on teaching about the love of God, not his anger and wrath. This incidence suggests to the children that the opposite is the case. Whatever the outcome of the investigation into the incident, it is clear that strict disciplinary guidelines need to be introduced into primary schools to ensure a similar child damaging incident does not re-occur in the future.

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