Zero tolerance dictatorships...

Too many people seem to think that schools should be run as dictatorships rather than as empathic systems reflecting the kind of society we want to live in

Schools are run on rules. From the moment we welcome pupils through the doors – even before they join full-time in first year – they are told what they must and must not do.

Arrive on time, bring the right equipment, don’t run in the corridors, don’t chew gum, keep mobile phones switched off etc etc. Many of these reflect societal norms, most have developed to maintain good order in the classroom and around the school and, increasingly, some have been suggested by pupils to help them and their peers with their learning.

There is no problem with rules. We live by them in society and, often, when I am talking to pupils about why they have broken certain rules, I quote those I have to abide by in my job and the ones they will have to adhere to as they go through life.

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