Should unruly pupils be removed from school?

The Education Secretary, David Blunkett, wants to cut the number of pupils in England expelled from school for bad behaviour, so he is setting up more “sin bins” within schools.

These are specialist support units, so that disruptive pupils can be removed from their classes but kept within mainstream schooling.

The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers does not think the Government understands how difficult these youngsters are to deal with, and that keeping them within school grounds is not the solution.

However Mr Blunkett thinks that for most children “off the premises” means off education, off life – because over 70% of those who are permanently excluded actually end up in the criminal justice system.

Do you think “sin bins” are the best way to deal with pupils who refuse to behave, or should they be removed from school altogether? Send us your views and experiences.




Behave at school or face 12 months military national service upon leaving. The choice is yours. Why should this minority ruin the educational environment for non-disruptive pupils who wish to succeed?
Andrew Marks, UK


You just cannot throw out the unruly children out of the schools. You need to follow the stick and carrot policy to allow them time to change their behaviour. By simply ousting them from the schools you will be pushing them to an extreme act which can damage both their families and them as an individual. Throwing them out can be the last resort.
Muhammad Akram Malik, Pakistan

Surely the majority of these children shouldn’t be behaving like this in the first place and that it’s their parents that need educating?
Jennifer Shaw, England


Sin bins? Oh please! And let me guess, they’ll be fitted with pool tables and televisions just like our prisons. It’s about time the government gets serious on discipline and while they’re at it, consider getting serious about education too. Our children deserve better than this.
Chris, UK

As a child psychiatrist I am familiar with the problem of school suspension and have been concerned about what to do about the unruly child for many years.
The unruly child, suspensions, corporal punishment and bullying debates are all linked and seem to have something to do with the educational offerings. For these unruly children it appears to me that it might be better to use more activity and hands on learning rather than seat work for 80% + of the day.
Children do learn best what they are interested in and they are less likely to be a nuisance to others when they have tasks to do that they find appealing and rewarding.
Dr. Peter Matthews, Canada


I cannot believe what soft touches we have become since the good old days of corporal punishment in the schools of this country. As an ex-headmaster myself, I know how effective a good thrashing can be in encouraging manners, concentration and self-discipline – Blunkett’s sin bins are typical of the wishy-washy liberalism which has taken root in the British politics of today.
Tristran Fenchurch-Travis, UK

Isn’t it ironic that our spoilt little darlings are causing disruption at the same time that millions of children worldwide cannot get a place at a school. It pains me to say it but since we banned the belt (and I supported that move) certain children have just got out of control.
Gerry, Scotland

The best way to deal with repetitive unruly pupils is to place them in Victorian Style disciplinary schools. These should be special state run schools with carefully selected teachers which retain the use of corporal punishment for unruly and disruptive behaviour.
In this way the young hooligans are given a harsh disciplined education, while all the well-behaved children are given a normal education.
Tim G, UK