School ‘no touch’ rules to be scrapped – Michael Gove

From BBC News (England)

Michael Gove promised to “clarify and shrink” the guidance to teachers on school discipline “No touch” rules discouraging teachers from restraining and comforting children are to be scrapped, Education Secretary Michael Gove has said. In an interview with the Guardian, Mr Gove said the move was part of a “new deal” for teachers. They would also be given the right to anonymity when faced by allegations from pupils. Mr Gove promised to change the rules on school discipline, saying the current system was too complicated. Continue reading the main story Related stories School staff get 1,700 complaints Tougher search powers for heads He said: “At the moment if you want to become au fait with what this department thinks on how to keep order in class you have to read the equivalent of War and Peace. “There is about 500 pages of guidance on discipline and another 500 pages on bullying. We will clarify and shrink that.” Right to search Mr Gove added: “Teachers worry that if they assert a degree of discipline, one determined maverick pupil will say ‘I know my rights’ and so teachers become reticent about asserting themselves. “There are a number of schools that have ‘no touch’ policies and we are going to make clear this rule does not apply.” The education secretary said he did not believe staff should be able to hit children. But he added: “I do believe that teachers need to know they can physically restrain children, they can interpose themselves between two children that may be causing trouble, and they can remove them from the classroom.” Teachers should be able to console all victims of bullying, he said. They would also be given the right to search pupils for “anything that is banned by the school rules”. Mr Gove vowed to reduce the timescale in which allegations against teachers have to be either investigated or dropped. Pupil premium And he wants voluntary groups and city academies to take over pupil referral units for excluded children from local authority control. “It is striking that there are people who want to play a greater role in this market,” he said. The coalition’s pupil premium – extra cash for schools taking poorer children – would be safe from the spending review, Mr Gove confirmed. “The commitment from the Treasury is to deliver a proper pupil premium,” he said. Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote All of these measures become meaningless if schools fail to incorporate them into their behaviour policies” End Quote Chris Keates NASUWT The interview comes ahead of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, which starts on Sunday. Mr Gove will announce that Geoffrey Canada, described as Barack Obama’s favourite educationalist, is to address the conference. Mr Canada has been credited with eliminating educational under-achievement among black students in New York. Teachers’ union NASUWT has previously said that any measures which helped teachers tackle poor pupil behavour were always welcomed. In July General secretary Chris Keates said ” a raft of measures” had been introduced to support teachers during the past decade but added: “However, all of these measures become meaningless if schools fail to incorporate them into their behaviour policies.” He added: “The proposal to change the law to provide anonymity up to the point of charge is a welcome and significant step in the right direction. “Teachers are vulnerable to false allegations. Evidence shows that once the nature of the allegation and the identity of the teacher are in the public domain a witch-hunt can ensue and the teacher’s health, family relationships and professional reputation can be damaged irreparably.”

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About lorrystdavid

I'm a retired guy who loves to get involved in community affairs and issues especially when I feel there is some injustice involved or that I have a valid point of view. I still believe that the pen is mightier than the sword although lately, I am wondering if this is still true.
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3 Responses to School ‘no touch’ rules to be scrapped – Michael Gove

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