Best Practice

Case study: The school that abolished punishment

The outstanding Kilgarth School caters for boys with social, emotional and mental health difficulties. Recently it took the decision to remove sanctions for poor behaviour. Emma Lee-Potter paid a visit to discover why

Always growing, always learning, – Kilgarth School’s mission statement encapsulates its approach to education in four simple words. The phrase is woven into the fabric of the school and forms part of an eye-catching tree mural (pictured, right) that greets visitors as they walk through the main entrance.

Kilgarth is a secondary school in Birkenhead, Merseyside for boys aged 11 to 16 who experience social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) difficulties. Housed in a single-storey building, in an area of deprivation and with little outside space, it is one of the most go-ahead schools in the country.

In recent years, Ofsted has judged the school to be outstanding in all areas, teaching staff have won a host of prestigious teaching awards, and virtually every pupil goes into education, employment or training at the age of 16. Much to the school’s delight, a year 11 boy recently transitioned back into a mainstream school – the first for several years.

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