Headteacher defends 'remove room'

THE headteacher at a middle school which is setting up an exclusion room for misbehaving pupils claims it will help distracted pupils get back into classrooms quicker than traditional methods.

Laurence Cawley

THE headteacher at a middle school which is setting up an exclusion room for misbehaving pupils claims it will help distracted pupils get back into classrooms quicker than traditional methods.

All Saints Middle School in Sudbury is seeking a permanent “remove room manager” to oversee the running the special room, which will be used by pupils whose behaviour in class has distracted other learners.

A number of schools already have similar rooms, and All Saints head teacher Lesley Farrow said they could be used in far more productive ways than traditional detentions.

“What we try to do is maintain their learning and they will be able to continue with the work they were doing in lessons but almost on a one-to-one basis. It enables them to feel positive about learning again.

“We've not had a big problem with discipline and we've got wonderful pupils and very hard working staff.”

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Before deciding on the remove room idea, Mrs Farrow visited a number of similar facilities at other Suffolk schools.

She said: “The ones I've seen vary in the way they are used. Ours will be run by a non-teaching member of staff who has particular skills.

“Sometimes the pupils may be there for just 15 minutes before they are re-introduced into their class.

“This is a new venture for us and it is something I've seen used effectively in other schools and it is another way of making sure children have every opportunity to focus on their learning.”

The school is looking for somebody “firm but fair” for the �12,000 post, which it hopes to fill in time for the new behaviour room's launch in September.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council, the local educatiin authority, could not say how many middle schools in Suffolk had such a full-time post, but issued a general comment, saying: “Most schools have some facility or arrangement to remove a child from class as an alternative to exclusion, if the child's behaviour is disrupting other children's learning.”

laurence.cawley@eadt.co.uk